Hotels in Harare this week refused to provide accommodation to Members of Parliament when they wanted to check in ahead of Parliament sitting due to non-payment.
Legislators from out of Harare are usually booked into hotels when they come for Parliament sittings but Parliament has been delaying in settling the hotel bills owed to various hotels.
The issue was raised in the National Assembly by Makoni Central legislator David Tekeshe (MDC Alliance). He said:
Thank you, Madam Speaker. My point of privilege arises on the issue of accommodation for Members of
Parliament. We have been receiving calls from Members of Parliament who are being chased away from hotels – we are now sick and tired of this.
As Hon. Members, it is embarrassing for one to be turned away from one hotel to the next.
May there be an arrangement where people can be given sufficient funds to ensure that people are able to look after themselves?
In Uganda, Members are not provided accommodation, but they are given sufficient funds for them to look for their own accommodation.
If Parliament cannot provide us with accommodation, we must be given funds to look for accommodation.
It is embarrassing moving from one hotel to the other as Members of Parliament.
For the four years, I have been a Member of Parliament, this has been the most embarrassing year for me for failing to secure accommodation.
In Uganda, they are allocated 10 000 for accommodation and fuel and they are given their salaries so that they take care of themselves.
In her response, the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Tsitsi Gezi said she had taken note of the issue. Gezi said:
Thank you Honourable Tekeshe, we have heard what you have said, it is demeaning indeed for an Honourable Member of Parliament to be turned away from a hotel where they will be expecting to get accommodation and where they are supposed to be respected as Honourable Members and moving from one hotel to the other does not give them a good image. I have taken note of that.