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Chamisa says ministers must attend Parliament instead of small houses

Movement for Democratic Change vice-president Nelson Chamisa yesterday asked government ministers to take Parliament seriously because some were abandoning the august House for “small houses”.

He said this after acting Speaker Reuben Marumahoko indicated that 16 ministers had sought leave of absence for yesterday’s Question Time.

Those not present included the two Vice-Presidents Phelekezela Mphoko and Emmerson Mnangagwa who is also leader of the House.

The Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front had its politburo meeting yesterday coinciding with Parliament’s Question Time which ministers are obliged to attend to answer questions from legislators.

“In terms of our Standing Order Number 63 as read together with Standing Order Number 26, Ministers who are not able to come to Parliament are supposed to seek the leave of the Speaker and that of Parliament.  You have mentioned a whole list of Ministers who are not present; did they seek the leave from you?” Chamisa asked the Speaker.

“I am just asking you Hon. Speaker so that we are clear.   As Parliament, we do not want a habit of Ministers who just come here to say I am not coming to Parliament.  It is not adequate; it is not sufficient.  If they are not coming to Parliament, they must give us a reason because we know that some Ministers abandon this august House for other small houses, which may be where-ever they are.  We want this august House to be respected.”

When asked what he meant by small house, Chamisa responded:  “A house in Cabinet is a small house compared to this august House.  So, it is very important.”

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