Parliament petitioned to change car scheme
When political parties recall and replace parliamentarians, the old and new legislators should not both be able to benefit from the Parliamentary vehicle loan scheme, Progressive and Patriotic Citizens of Zimbabwe has petitioned Parliament.
The petitioners argue that financial resources are being wasted because of internal squabbles of political parties.
Infighting within opposition political parties, mainly the MDC-T and CCC, has seen MPs recalled and replaced within party-list Assembly and Senate seats by the party or replaced in a by-election in constituency seats. But both the original legislator elected in 2018 and the subsequent legislator have benefited from the loans. Progressive and Patriotic Citizen of Zimbabwe chairman Mr Patson Murimoga said the recalls are usually done soon after each of the parliamentarian has been allocated a vehicle which each of the recalled parliamentarian keep despite being recalled.
“Why allow parliamentarians to abuse tax payers without any caution? Parliament is a representative of the people and should never be the citadel of abuse of citizens.
“We request Parliament to change its vehicle loan scheme so that when a recall is done, the new parliamentarian from the same party that did a recall does not benefit from the vehicle loan scheme.
“This will help stop those who fan internal squabbles in any political party from benefiting from such internal squabbling at the expense of the public,” said Mr Murimoga.
Recalls were used by the late MDC-T founding leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai and the current leader Douglas Mwonzora.
Mr Murimoga said :“The cost of recalls to the tax payers have been huge. During every tenure of every parliament recalls are done and burden tax payers.
“Hospitals and clinics are underfunded and are in need of these vehicles which may be used as ambulances,” Parliament, he said is now a conduit to siphon public finances and all this being caused by squabbles in opposition parties.
“It may as well be a scheme by opposition parties to use this recall facility to enrich their members by feigning differences and recall each other so that they take turns to dip their fingers in tax payers’ money through a vehicle loan scheme benefits,” he echoed.
Sometimes there can be three simultanous loans for a single seat. He cited Bulawayo province proportional representative, where Dorcas Sibanda was elected in 2018 general elections and benefited from the vehicle loan scheme and was then recalled.
“She kept the loan vehicle but was replaced by Mguni Nomvula who proceeded to benefit from the vehicle loan scheme and was also later recalled.
“Nomvula was later on replaced by another third parliamentarian who benefited from the same vehicle loan scheme. All these three are from the same constituency,” he said.
Parliament has a vehicle loan scheme where it allows Parliamentarians to buy an off-road vehicle on credit which they pay over a five-year period, the normal life of a single Parliament.