Home » Governance » Chinos Slams ‘Hefty’ Moyo Panel Allowances

ZANU PF MP for Buhera South, Joseph Chinotimba, has demanded that treasury explain where the Information Media Panel of Inquiry (IMPI) was getting money to pay members allowances of US$300 per sitting while war veterans and even MPs go without pay.

The 25-member panel was established last December by Information minister Jonathan Moyo to inquire into the values, ethics and standards of the media sector in relation to the country’s laws and population needs.

However, speaking during Parliament’s questions without notice session Wednesday afternoon, Chinotimba claimed that bosses of the panel were taking home more than US$10,000 each per month.

Speaking in Shona, the legislator asked deputy finance minister Samuel Undenge to explain where the money was coming from when government claimed it was broke and unable to pay MPs allowances and even school fees for war veterans’ children.

He said: “Pane ka organisation that is going around the country which is being paid $300 per sitting. It is being paid US$300 per individual and we hear that the leaders are getting more than US$10,000 per month.

“This committee which is going around … I don’t know its name (but) can you tell me where the money for their hefty allowances is coming from yet we veterans are not getting school fees for our children?

He added: “Clarify, tiudzeiwo muimba ino kuti zvinombofamba sei kana muchiti nyika haina mari asi kamwe kacommittee muchikapa ma300 iwawo. Inenge ichibva kupi? I thank you (Please clarify and tell this house how things are being done … while you say you don’t have money at the same time a committee is being paid U$S300 where does the money come from?).

MPs applauded as Chinotimba returned to his seat.

Undenge tried to evade the question saying: “Mr Speaker Sir, I think Honourable Chinotimba has raised a number of issues which are also wide ranging so I suggest that the question be put in writing then we will attend to it.”

But the Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda would not help the minister and repeated Chinotimba’s question in English in case he had not understood.

Said Mudenda: “Honorable minister, the question is on the policy on payment of fees for war veteran’s children against the understanding that there is a committee going around the country

“… and that committee is being paid sitting allowance of US$300 per sitting per member, and yet government cannot pay the fees for the war veterans’ children – that is the question. What’s the policy?”

Udenge then said: “Mr Speaker Sir perhaps let me take the first part of the question the second question on sitting allowances of US$300 I will have to confirm that second part and come back to you.”

But Chinotimba was not done.

He added: “Yes, Mr Speaker. The question I asked the minister is very clear and it was not answered.

“We have a situation where war veterans are told that government has no money but is trying its best and yet these people who are just going around the country get paid.

“What are they looking for? Who doesn’t know there that kuTsholotsholo hakuna ZBC? Asingazivi kuti kuBuhera kwandinobva hakuna masai sai ndiyani?

“What are they looking for to deserve $300 payments per sitting while MPs have not even received a cent in sitting allowances? Is the money coming from the same treasury which is also supposed to be paying MPs?

“The minister should answer the question or let us know if he cannot.”

Undenge then said he had taken note of the question and would verify the amounts the panel was being paid.

“I don’t know the amount of money that has been paid to the committee but what I know is that there is indeed a committee that is going around the country and is funded by the treasury,” he said.

“Government is aware of its obligations to take care of the welfare of the war veterans once funds are available, we will pay them.”

Source : New Zimbabwe