BUHERA South Member of Parliament Joseph Chinotimba has implored National Assembly Speaker Jacob Mudenda to fire Parliament canteen staff after they increased a plate of sadza from a $1 to $3.
Chinotimba was also apoplectic with fury after soft drinks in the Parliament canteen increased to a $1 from a previous $0, 50 cents.
Rising on a point of privilege in the National Assembly on Wednesday Chinotimba blamed the administration of Parliament for joining the profiteering gravy train and burdening members of parliament.
“The price of goods is increasing and I have noticed that the origins of all these price hikes is emanating from Parliament. Parliament is selling the soft drink coca cola for a $1 and yet Delta did not increase anything. In the hotels also where Members of Parliament are staying, those same coca cola drinks are being sold at $4 yet again Delta did not increase the price of its products. I lay the blame squarely on the administration of Parliament especially those who are in the administration of welfare of Parliamentarians,”Chinotimba said.
“As Members of Parliament, we talk to the public and they are complaining of price hikes of these food stuffs. Again, here at our Members’ Dining we are buying sadza for $3 and coca cola for $4. As Parliament, we are the perpetrators of the increase of these prices. I am begging you Mr. Speaker; let us protect the Members of Parliament. If the providers of canteen services at Parliament are not satisfied with the amount that they are getting and therefore feel they should increase prices so that the Members of Parliament suffer, do away with them. It is either that we provide our own food or we get alternative service providers.”
Mudenda said Chinotimba has misdirected his query and should infact bring it to the welfare Committee and through the Speaker’s office.
“When we want to discuss issues of welfare of Members of Parliament we do that in the Speaker’s Office. Those issues are purely administrative; therefore if you have queries, come to the Speaker’s office and address all these issues under the Committee of Standing Rules and Orders. So Honourable Chinotimba, there is this Committee and they know how best to do with those issues,”Mudenda said.
Chinotimba acknowledged he misdirected his query but it was a reflection of the public outrage in the face of skyrocketing prices of basic commodities.