Mthuli Ncube should prioritise MDC MPs, says Mliswa

Mthuli Ncube should prioritise MDC MPs, says Mliswa
Published: 22 October 2018 (141 Views)
Outspoken Independent Member of Parliament (MP) for Norton Temba Mliswa has urged Finance minister Mthuli Ncube to stagger purchase of vehicles for parliamentarians, starting with opposition legislators.

This comes after government deferred the purchase of new vehicles as part of austerity measures being spearheaded by Ncube.

Mliswa said vehicles were an essential necessity for legislators if they are to discharge their duties efficiently.

While appreciating the need to cut government expenditure, Mliswa said the Finance minister should prioritise MDC MPs first since Zanu-PF legislators got brand news cars during election campaigns.

"Regarding cars for government ministers and MPs, it's important for ... Ncube to understand that cars are a critical resource for enabling MPs to work in their constituencies," Mliswa said.

"As Zanu-PF MPs were given cars during campaigning, stagger disbursement and give cars to opposition first."

Ncube told the Daily News on Sunday that the purchase of cars was not a priority.

"On the cost containing side, we are going to look at reducing government waste in terms of vehicles. You can see that we have not authorised, rather we suspended the purchase of vehicles for ministers, members of Parliament.

"We will get there. We are putting together a policy that we think is equitable, that will help us manage expenditure on something as simple as vehicles. It's about the wage bill in the budget, we will make some pronouncements. We negotiate internally on that. While those things are being negotiated, we are writing papers," he said.

Mliswa pointed out that he is definitely against lack of restraint in spending money, but noted that vehicles are a priority for MPs.

He urged government to cut down unnecessary costs in its bid to cater for vehicles.

"I'm against government extravagance but I'm also against compromising MPs and making them desperate. Let's rather start with cutting down in the executive which is over staffed anyway," he said.

"The subsequent reduction in associated costs will see expenditure reduced significantly."

MPs from both Zanu-PF and MDC last month expressed anger over government's decision to suspend the purchase of their new vehicles due to the cholera outbreak.

They described this move as a "travesty" of justice claiming that they were entitled to all their benefits.

Mliswa, who was also vocal during that period, said it was wrong for government to suspend MPs entitlements simply because there was a disease outbreak.

However, although he has been vouching for his colleagues, Mliswa is well-known for consistently refusing to accept a parliamentary vehicle ever since he became MP.

- dailynews

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