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Mudenda, MPs roast Executive for undermining Parly

by Staff reporter
07 Oct 2020 at 07:05hrs | Views
SPEAKER of Parliament Jacob Mudenda and opposition legislators yesterday took turns to grill Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi for allowing members of the Executive to take legislative business lightly, including tabling outdated reports without seeking condonation of the House.

The House questioned the lack of seriousness by ministers and commissions set up under chapter 12. This was after Women Affairs minister Sithembiso Nyoni sought leave in the National Assembly to table the Zimbabwe Gender Commission reports for the years 2015 to 2019.

Zengeza West MP Job Sikhala (MDC Alliance) fired the first shot, quizzing her for tabling the reports late without seeking condonation from Parliament.

"The Constitution is very clear in terms of building democracy - that the Executive must table annual reports before Parliament and it cannot be taken for granted that these reports should have been considered during their material time," Sikhala said.

"We expect Nyoni to first seek condonation on the 2015 outdated reports because what she is doing is to take Parliament for granted by not first seeking condonation to say she failed to comply with the Constitution."

Ziyambi then sprung to Nyoni's defence, saying: "I am at pains in understanding the procedure. If she had not come to table the reports in retrospect, was Parliament going to keep quiet? The minister came on her own volition and there is no procedure in our statutes that when you are late in tabling reports, you seek condonation."

Mudenda shot Ziyambi down, reminding him that section 323(1) of the Constitution obliges all commission to submit their annual reports to Parliament through their responsible ministers, not later than the end of March in the year to which the report relates.

"Minister (Ziyambi) you are misdirected here. It is your responsibility to ensure that ministers submit these reports and we have several reports pending. You are guilty," he said.

"Section 107(2) also states that ‘Every Vice-President, minister and deputy minister must attend Parliament and parliamentary committees in order to answer questions concerning matters for which he or she is collectively or individually responsible'.

"If there is dereliction of duty, then you have to seek condonation. If my ruling is unacceptable, please go to the Constitutional Court."

Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya (MDC Alliance) said there were a number of commission reports of several years ago that were still to be tabled before Parliament.

"As a result, Cyclone Idai was debated six months after it happened when the issue was already outdated," Chikwinya said.

Norton MP Temba Mliswa (independent) blasted parliamentary portfolio committees for failing to bring truant ministers to book.

Meanwhile, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube will today meet MPs to discuss their welfare after they complained that their salaries have been eroded by inflation.

Source - newsday