Harare - Zimbabwean lawmakers have raised complaints over the non-payment of their sitting allowances in the past two years, saying some Members of Parliament (MPs) had since resorted to staying away from the National Assembly, Newsday reported on Friday.
An opposition MP from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Elias Mudzuri, said the situation had negatively affected their standing in society as they had become charity cases.
The Warren Park MP told the National Assembly Speaker, Jacob Mudenda, that they had not received fuel allowance for the past 20 weeks while their sitting allowances had not been forthcoming for the past two year.
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"MPs are now failing to conduct their duties, and the reason why some MPs do not turn up in the House is that they are looking for money to survive at home," Mudzuri was quoted saying.
New Zimbabwe, recently reported that lawmakers who resided outside of the capital Harare had resorted to hitch-hiking in order to get to parliament, as the treasury was inconsistent in paying transport allowances.
MPs from far away cities, like Bulawayo, were entitled to 120 litres of fuel in order to attend a single parliamentary session. But due to dry state coffers the treasury struggled to keep government business running.
"Things are bad. Most people believe MPs get a lot in terms of salary and benefits but honestly, there is nothing. An MP’s salary is so little that you would not believe it is meant for a member of parliament," a lawmaker who spoke on condition of anonymity was quoted as saying.