Patrick Chitumba Midlands Bureau Chief—
LEGISLATORS are set to acquire residential stands in a programme being spearheaded by Parliament. The Speaker of the National Assembly, Advocate Jacob Mudenda confirmed the development yesterday.He said Parliament was facilitating the venture after engaging all rural and urban councils across the country for them to buy residential stands at affordable rates.
“We are not giving Parliamentarians free stands. But rather we are making it possible for them to get cheaper stands in areas of their choice,” he said.
The move, Advocate Mudenda said, was aimed at empowering MPs.
A member of the National Assembly who spoke on condition of anonymity said they had been told that each of them could choose a residential stand in a town of his or her choice.
“We have since started the process of registering the stands in areas we like. It is an on-going process aimed at uplifting our livelihoods. A lot of us fail to make it and some turn into paupers after leaving Parliament. This is a welcome development for us and we are very grateful,” said the MP.
The MPs’ residential stands scheme comes at a time when the Government has embarked on a housing programme for civil servants as part of their non-monetary incentives.
Cabinet recently pegged the price of the stands at $4 per square metre to ensure affordability. Beneficiaries will pay an additional $1 as administration fee. All payments will be made through the Salary Services Bureau.
Housing delivery is one of the key goals of Zim-Asset and Government intends to provide 300 000 units by 2018. The housing scheme will go a long way in cushioning civil servants who have previously seen many schemes being established in their names but benefiting outsiders and political bigwigs.