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Parliamentary Monitor: Issue 14
Monitoring Trust (Zimbabwe)
November 28, 2011
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and turning into the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer
Mere anarchy has been loosened upon the world
Things fall apart
- WB Yeats, Second Coming
The budget statement
presented to Parliament
last week had its own merits and demerits. Lie all budgets, it takes
time before the full thrust settles in. Usually there are gaps between
initial reactions and final reactions. During a time when the people
digest the contents, it is important that the media, intellectuals,
interest groups, the academia, think tanks ad of course give guidance,
give interpretations as to what the consequences of the budget are.
At a time when the nation awaits such a guidance, the Members of
Parliament have once again shown that they are prepared to relegate
issues of national interest to the bottom drawer as they pursue
personal ends, in this case, as has always been, they want their
allowances and cars.
It was reported
that the MPs, in their collective wisdom, or absence of servant
leadership, have connived to throw spanner into works and hold the
finance minister at ransom, refusing to pass the finance bill and
the attendant pieces of legislation which will make the 2012 budget
into effect. There is nothing new in this as the mercenaries have
been using such terrorist / kidnapper type of negotiating skills.
What this shows is that the MP, as we have always argued, are there
to line thier pockets and any development that takes place in their
respective constituencies is an accident or a byproduct of their
endeavours to get rich. The Parliamentary Welfare Committee Chairperson
Paddy Zhanda (Zanu-PF) was quoted in the Daily News saying: “Do
a survey in the Sadc region and find out how much MPs are paid compared
to us. It is very unfortunate that people can perceive that we are
trying to arm twist the government when the truth is that government
is not looking at our welfare issues.” This is a very valid
observation by the Honourable MP. However, the same survey should
also be made to ascertain, within the region, how much the civil
servants get, the ordinary worker and the pensioner. Looking at
the earnings of the legislators only would not give a good picture.
It can also be further argued that the earnings of the legislators
is reflective of the health of the economy. Not the sick looking
and fragile Zim economy. To a certain extent, the legislators themselves
are following a cue from what the executive has been doing since
the inception of the unity
government in March 2009. They have been buying top of the range
vehicles. The mentality shown by taking this as cue is that the
MPs are not worried about what the demands would do to the economy.
A delay in passing the Finance Bill may come at a cost. This causes
unnecessary panic in an already fragile economy.
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