Members of Parliament are going to have a substantial salary increase with effect from 1 July 2022, Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube said on Thursday.
Legislators will also be put on a contributory medical insurance scheme and their sitting allowance will also be increased.
Ncube disclosed the development after Norton MP, Temba Mliswa (Independent), complained that legislators’ earnings have been severely eroded by inflation.
Mliswa also revealed that MPs were this week locked out of hotels because the Government had not settled their bills.
Below is the full debate in the National Assembly:
HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you Mr Speaker Sir. It is just something that needs to be addressed for certainty.
When Hon. Members of Parliament wanted to check into the hotels this week, they were told they could not.
I am glad that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development is here, I wanted him to pay attention to this one.
It involves the issue of Parliament not paying, but I think it is the Ministry of Finance that has not paid Parliament to pay.
It was quite embarrassing and humiliating for Hon. Members of Parliament to be told ‘you cannot check in.’
I am glad that there was some quick reaction to that. There was a quick response to that intervention and they were accommodated but it is an issue which really talks about their welfare.
Most Hon. Members of Parliament – if I am not mistaken, we were paid RTGs4 000 after deductions of PSMAS and it is quite something.
If you think of RTGs4 000 for a mother and father to carry home to say this is the money, I do not know how we can comprehend and continue on that.
So I know you have been looking at the welfare of Hon. Members of Parliament but an update would surely help Hon. Members to understand where they are in terms of those negotiations which we once did with the Minister of Finance and Economic Development and the Permanent Secretary pertaining to a number of issues.
Hon. Members are not immune to inflation as well. So I know that they do not have the energy to speak about it, but a response is needed to what is the way forward for the welfare of the Hon. Members of Parliament in spite of the inflation which is there. Thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: I am aware of what has been done following the meeting between the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development on the welfare of Hon. Members of Parliament and generally Government at large.
I do not think I will be privileged to announce what has been agreed to and I do not know whether the Hon. Minister may also want to announce that at this point in time.
What I know is a substantial increase has been agreed to as well as an increase in your sitting allowances effective 1st July 2022.
So something has been agreed to. I think at the appropriate time, the Hon. Minister will make some pronouncements, not only for us here but for the entire State. Have I concluded properly Hon. Minister?
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. You have summarised it well.
Maybe only to add that our three areas of focus for Hon. Members of this august House – they have been awarded a very good increase in the salary and basically putting them on a contributory medical insurance scheme which we are introducing as well as an increase in the sitting allowance. We are going to do those three areas – [AN. HON. MEMBER: When?] – Thank you.
THE HON SPEAKER: Someone is shouting when I had said with effect from 1st July 2022. I have the figures and I have been told and I think they are very reasonable in the circumstances of hyper-inflation.
That is all I can say for the time being but there has been some progress in terms of what the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has done.
I do not think that I can doubt what I have been told by the Hon. Minister. Let you judge by the action you will see beginning 1st of July, 2022.
HON. T. MLISWA: I thank you for your response which is promising but you know it is difficult for one to really have peace of mind when they do not know what they will get.
Hon. Speaker munenge matinzvenga ipapo. Tirikuda kumboombera kuti tapihwa ipapo tosvitsa maoko.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, if you cannot trust the Hon. Speaker, who are you going to trust?
HON. T. MLISWA: No, I will rest my case, we trust you. So please trust the Hon. Speaker and that everything will be okay, your salaries.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Please do rest your case and if that does not happen, I put my head on the block and then you can come with the guillotine. Thank you.