MPs demand allowances

Legislators were furious with Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara for refusing to re-pay sitting allowances, slamming the move as “unfair labour practice”. Makoni West MP raised the issue in Parliament, claiming that it was unfair of the government not to back date allowances.

“We respect our labour laws,” said Mutambara. “We do not practice unfair labour laws in the country. This is a matter under discussion. We agreed in principle that the allowances of the MPs must be raised to $75 per sitting, and the debate is whether that change should be implemented from the beginning of this Parliament, which is 2008 in September.”

Zengeza MP Collen Gwiyo hounded Mutambara for a specific date.“The follow up question is the issue of date of the effect. Is it an issue of discussion, or it is a matter of interpretation, because from a labour law point of view, it is clear when we were sworn into this House, so it should not be an issue of discussion,” he said.

Mutambara said that dialogue must continue between Parliament and the Executive. Mazowe North MP Cairo Mhandu said payment of their allowances did not need discussion by government to discuss. He said that the issue of poor payment needed to be highlighted in the media.

Despite further protestations by MPs, Mutambara insisted that the lows of the country needed to be followed in order to resolve the issue.

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