MPs divert fuel coupons to black market

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Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda

THE dire economic crisis has not spared Members of Parliament (MPs) from across the political divide, compelling them to divert their fuel coupons allocation and sell them to survive, Zim Morning Post has learnt.

The MPs have taken advantage of the shortage of fuel in the country and are diverting their coupons to the black market where they fetch at least US$12 for a 20-litre fuel coupon.

This development emanates from the fact that Parliament has not been able to increase sitting allowances for MPs in a long time now.

“We are struggling, and selling coupons is a lucrative business.

“Personally , I get 200 litres, and I have to use a smaller car which is a fuel-saver and sell the rest of the coupons,” confessed a legislator who spoke on condition of anonymity.

MPs receive ZWL700 per sitting and they also receive fuel coupons on a weekly basis.

Zim Morning Post understands that some MPs prefer to use public transport from their respective constituencies and in turn sell the coupons.

Legislators get an average of about 200 litres fuel allocation each week in the form of coupons, to allow them to attend Parliament from their respective constituencies.

The fuel allocations, however, vary depending on where each legislator will be coming from, with some MPs who come from as far as Beitbridge, Hwange and Chiredzi getting as much as 400 litres of fuel for each week.

National Assembly speaker Advocate Jacob Mudenda thwarted attempts by MDC-Alliance legislator Innocent Gonese to raise through a point of privilege in the House, the matter involving the withdrawal of sitting allowances of members of the opposition party after they walked out on President Emmerson Mnangagwa during his presentation of the State of the Nation Address early in November.

The opposition legislators had their sitting allowances for the day of the walkout and the preceding five months withdrawn after they refused to acknowledge the President when he entered the chamber as a sign of respect.

Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda confirmed this week that MPs get weekly fuel coupons allocation, depending on the distance of where the particular legislator is based.

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