LEGISLATORS are furious over their welfare because they are constantly being turned away from hotels over unpaid bills whenever the House is sitting.
The issue was raised in the National Assembly as a point of privilege by Makoni Central MP David Tekeshe (MDC Alliance), who demanded that the matter be urgently addressed.
“We have been receiving calls from Members of Parliament (MPs) who are being chased away from hotels, we are now sick and tired of this. As honourable members, it is embarrassing for one to be turned away from one hotel to the next. May there be an arrangement where MPs can be given sufficient funds to ensure that they can look after themselves.
“In Uganda, MPs are not provided with hotel accommodation, but they are given sufficient funds to look for accommodation. For the four years that I have been a Member of Parliament, this has been the most embarrassing year for me for failing to secure accommodation,” Tekeshe said.
Norton MP Temba Mliswa (Independent) hit out at Tekeshe saying since he was the chief whip for the MDC Alliance, he should have pushed for such matters to be solved since legislators have raised the issues in Parliament several times.
“I am a bit disturbed that he is bringing this issue up. We have brought these issues several times, and they are the ones who represent us. We have given up and we have lost hope. You (chief whips) have better welfare, you have better cars and we do not get what we want. We have asked for a joint caucus with the government chief whip (Pupurai Togarepi) for our welfare and nobody listened to us.”
Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Tsitsi Gezi implored MPs not to lose hope.
“The august House is going to look into this issue to see how best the plight of MPs can be improved in terms of accommodation,” she said.
Buhera South MP Joseph Chinotimba (Zanu PF) weighed in, saying: “The other option is to give them money so that they meet their expenses. The hotels are very expensive. MPs consume meals there that cost more than their salaries. It is painful that for the four days that MPs live in a hotel, the expenses are more than their salaries.”Newsday