Tuesday, 24 October 2017

TOUGH CODE OF CONDUCT FOR MPs

THE new code of ethics for parliamentarians tabled last week in the National Assembly by Kuwadzana East MP Nelson Chamisa (MDC-T) carries stringent requirements binding MPs to even declare their foreign trips.

“Interests to be disclosed include the undertaking of all travel abroad (including a brief description of the journey and sponsor) other than personal visits paid for entirely by the MP himself or herself, business visits unrelated to the member’s role as a public representative, or formal visits paid for by the member’s political party, provided that a registrable visit may be entered in the confidential part of the register,” part of the code reads.

MPs are also supposed to declare receipt and source of a pension of any description, whether funded privately or publicly, provided that the value must be disclosed in the confidential part of the register.

Chamisa, who chairs the Parliamentary Committee on Code of Conduct and Ethics, said the new regulations were based on seven principles of selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.

MPs are supposed to disclose how they make public appointments, award contracts, recommend individuals for benefit, their land and property, consultancies, directorship and partnerships, and other employment outside Parliament.

MPs are also supposed to declare the number, nature, nominal value and company in which they hold any type of shares in any public or private company, provided that propriety interests held in any other corporate body recognised by law must be disclosed in the confidential part of the register.

On sponsorship, they must declare the source, description and extent of the provision of the financial sponsorships or assistance directly to an MP from non-party sources.

“MPs must declare the receipt, description value and source of any gift with a value in excess of $4 500, or gifts from a single source which cumulatively exceed the value of $4 500, including such gifts and hospitality from an external source to a spouse, permanent companion or dependent child of an MP, provided that personal gifts within the family and hospitality of a specifically traditional or cultural nature need not be disclosed,” the code of ethics
reads.


Members of the public will be allowed to inspect the register and raise concern if the MPs are seen as acting unethically. MPs are yet to approve the proposed code. newsday

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