Zim Legislators Demand New Cars

The demands are coming from both members of the lower and the upper houses of all the country’s three political parties namely Zanu (PF) and the two Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formations.

In this rare show of unity, the parliamentarians say they want the government to buy them each a Nissan 4×4 pick-up truck worth a princely sum of between $US 10 000 and US$ 15000.

The decision was made at a parliamentary joint caucus meeting on Tuesday.

The demand for new cars comes despite the fact that the parliamentarians were paid for the use and maintenance of their vehicles during the constitutional outreach programme.

Kudakwashe Bhasikiti, Zanu (PF) MP for Mwenezi East constituency, the Secretary General of the Joint Parliament Welfare Committee said in a brief to journalists that the demands by the MPs are reasonable and have already been tabled before Minister of Finance Tendai Biti who is expected to present the matter before the leaders of the three political parties for consideration.

“The MPs are asking government to replace their vehicles and the reason being that MPs were using their vehicles during constitutional outreach programme and some of them have lost their cars which are now a completely right off,” said Bhasikiti.

“Others have their vehicles badly damaged and the cost of the maintenance is too high and beyond their reach, and it will better to have a new vehicle. We use these vehicles to do parliamentary and government business in our various constituencies.”

The car park at parliament is full of broken down top of the range vehicles, others are accident damaged. A parliamentary official who mans the main vehicle entrance to parliament building told Radio VOP that the vehicles belong to parliamentarians.

Apart from the new cars the parliamentarians have also been demanding their sitting allowances since they were elected into office in March 2008.

Bhasikiti said they expected a favourable response from the executive otherwise anything short of the purchase of new vehicles would affect their constituency work. He so urgent is the need for new cars because some parliamentarians are already commuting to do their constituency work and attend parliament in Harare.