The extravagant parcelling out of the funds by Treasury in a country battling massive poverty and a poor health delivery system, among some of the ills, elicited public outrage.
While critics were ready to excuse Zanu-PF MPs whose party has long been condemned by opponents as corrupt, opposition CCC legislators came in for some harsh criticism for alleged hypocrisy after the party has cast itself as a people centred outfit.
Among those who have seen everything wrong with MPs accepting the government’s unsolicited gifts was Chamisa who said there was everything wrong with public representatives putting their own aggrandisement ahead of the rest.
“Wrong leaders usually have wrong priorities. The role of a government is to address citizens’ most urgent and pertinent needs,” Chamisa posted Wednesday on his Twitter handle.
“When this is abandoned, such a government merits replacement. Any government that prioritizes ‘chefs’ over citizens is not fit for purpose.
“In any public office, any decision that prioritizes self over the served is morally wrong, especially in a context where poverty pervades with citizens so hard pressed and in circumstances of lack,” said Chamisa.
Cabinet ministers were the biggest beneficiaries of the government loot after they were each awarded a hefty US$500,000 each while their deputies got US$350,000
Analysts believe that the US$40,000 per MP was a masterstroke manoeuvre to silence opposition MPs from speaking out against the massive perks given to ministers and their deputies.
The US$40,000 loans given to the 350 member legislature totalled over US$14 million.
When a social media user asked Chamisa if it was morally right for lawmakers to accept US$40,000 when the public health system was in shambles, he responded, “It’s wrong morally and ethically.”
Only one CCC lawmaker, Rusty Markham, reportedly refused to accept the government loot which sent social media Wednesday buzzing with disgust.
Asked to comment on why he rejected the government windfall, Markham declined to comment, saying he was not yet issuing public statements over that.
Outspoken Norton legislator Temba Mliswa defended fellow MPs who accepted what the public feels is an unsolicited bribe by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.