MDC-T defends MPs payouts as the US$40k saga rages on 

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By Darlington Gatsi

OPPOSITION MDC-T has defended the US$40 000 payout to Members of Parliament (MP), saying it is in equal proportion to the work exerted by the legislators and is adamant the perks will not compromise the national assembly.

Government forked out US$40 000 to MPs as a housing loan facility amid indications that cabinet ministers had also received US$500 000 each and US$350 000 to deputy ministers.

The loan facility to the MPs have drawn a social media backlash, with observers accusing opposition legislators of hypocrisy for accepting the loans in the midst of deteriorating economy.

MDC-T spokesperson, Witness Dube said the MPs are justified for accepting the loans as it improves the conditions of service for parliamentarians.

“We have nothing against the MPs being given that kind of money because it is commensurate with their work. It is a loan, after all, for them to be able to have decent accommodation that is going to go a long way in keeping them focused on their core duties.

“It does not compromise MPs. In fact, it puts them in a position where they are bold enough with the government,” said Dube.

Opposition MPs have received criticism for ‘falling into the ZANU-PF trap of bribes’ as the country gears up for 2023 elections.

Political analysts have said the perks are an attempt to oil the hands of MPs in not holding the government to account.

The signing of the loans comes on the back of civil servants decrying poor working conditions characterised with lack of sundries, particularly in hospitals.

Dube said the Government should also ensure the payouts  should also cut across all civil servants to ensure equality in the civil service.

“We wish that that could have been done in a manner that does not leave anyone behind and the government wants to prefer. The improvement of conditions for the civil service must be effected across the board. All the civil servants are in need of that kind of incentive,” said Dube.