Members of Parliament (MPs) are working under very difficult conditions including discrimination from presiding officers who pass biased rulings thereby diminishing the sanctity of the House as a forum in which important national matters should be discussed objectively, says Monze Central Member of Parliament Jack Mwiimbu.
Mr Mwiimbu said there was serious discontent among MPs who did not even know their conditions of service.
Speaking during a debate on the modernization of Parliament Mr. Mwiimbu accused presiding officers including the Speaker of being biased in their rulings by always being in favour of government.
Rulings by presiding officers including the Speaker made it very clear that there were two sets of members in the House.
The situation he said was prejudicing the work of the House, but could not be rectified because there was no forum in which the issue could be fully discussed and seek a resolution.
He added those Parliamentary committees were weak and virtually moribund as they had no good sense on the various ministries and government institutions over which they were presiding.
Mr Mwiimbu added that the tragedy of procedures also inhibited MPs from fully discussing important issues, including those relating to their conditions of service,.
He decried the fact that MPs did not know their conditions of service, did not have a decent common room in which they could work and invite guests.
He said that the current Members Room was dingy and did not have decent furniture befitting the status of the lawmakers.
“There is need for MPs to be accorded decent office accommodation from which they could work as they had a lot of research and reading to do. They also required space for meeting constituents, including other visitors while MPs are in Lusaka,” he said
The MPs also want a consolidated salary rather than the current sitting allowance system.Other MPs who spoke also suggested that government should consider giving them a grant to purchase vehicles instead of the current system where they were given loans.
And the issue of overpriced oil which the Zambian Government purchased will not be swept under the carpet as Mazabuka Central Member of Parliament Garry Nkombo has undertake to pursue it to the logical conclusion.
Speaking in Parliament last Friday Mr. Nkombo said the issue of the “additional 60cents” would not be allowed to die a natural death as he would pursue it vigorously.