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Zanu-PF MPs don't want to queue for fuel





SPEAKER of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda yesterday turned down a request by Zanu-PF MPs to have service stations designated for them to enable them to get fuel without enduring long queues.

This was after Zanu-PF MP for Chimanimani Joshua Sacco had made the suggestion, saying the prevailing fuel shortages were hampering legislators' work in their constituencies as they spend time in fuel queues.

"We are struggling to get fuel, especially MPs from rural constituencies so I was suggesting that we could have service stations designated for us so we can easily access it," Sacco said to a mixture of howls of disapproval from MDC MPs and approval from his ruling party colleagues.

MDC MP for Zengeza West Job Sikhala was particularly vocal, shouting at the top of his voice that there was nothing special warranting legislators to deserve such special treatment.

In the end, Mudenda ruled that while Sacco's point was valid, it was Parliament's role to give priority to national considerations as opposed to institutional ones.

"We have to contextualise the point in the national interest.
"While it is true that MPs need to be mobile, it must be considered that we represent people in the constituencies who also need to be mobile," Mudenda ruled to applause from the opposition bench.

However, when the issue was also discussed in the Senate, deputy president Mike Nyambuya agreed that special service stations for legislators were necessary.

Nyambuya requested Energy deputy minister Magna Mudyiwa to arrange designations of fuel stations specifically for legislators.

Responding to the call, Mudyiwa assured Nyambuya that the issue would be considered and called on Parliament to officially come up with their request.

"As government we control Petrotrade and some suppliers are independent.
"We know legislators are given Puma coupons, but Parliament must come to us and sit down so that we arrange a special filling station for them," Mudyiwa said to the approval of Senators.

Nyambuya said he would take it upon himself to follow up on the matter.

"I am personally going to take this matter up. I know the suffering of our honourable members trying to get fuel," Nyambuya said.

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