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How Mugabe was given powers to appoint key judges with MDC kicking and screaming

HON. GONESE: The point I wanted to emphasise is that I have got some difficulty in appreciating the manner in which the Hon. Vice President is approaching this matter. For me, when we are in this august House, we should be governed by rules, processes and more importantly, we should be governed by due process. The fact that something is Government business does not give the Leader of Government business the unfettered discretion to just do as he pleases at any particular point in time.

The procedures in this august House are that when you have asked for debate, the debate must be exhausted. What has been happening is that the Hon. Vice President is not waiting to see whether there are other members who want to debate. We have got members on this side of the House who wanted to debate that adjournment, only for the Vice President to rise on his feet and immediately respond without giving you an opportunity to check whether there are other members. We abide by your ruling that we are only debating the adjournment.

After Hon. Chamisa debated, that debate has not yet been exhausted, only on the adjournment. After Hon. Maridadi, we only have to check whether there are any other members who want to debate that particular point under consideration, and only if there are none, can the Vice President respond.  I do not agree that at any moment, the Hon. Vice President can say that because I am the Leader of Government business, I then determine. Once something is under consideration, it is subject to the same rules.

If you want to adjourn a debate, you do not simply come and say no, I am the Leader of Government business and I am stopping this debate. That is why you move a motion. Our rules have made that provision that you move a motion and when you move a motion, whoever is in the Chair asks whether there is any debate on that motion. For that reason Mr. Speaker Sir, as a matter of procedure, let us first of all exhaust the debate and only when we have exhausted the debate on the adjournment, can we then move to the next step.

The Hon. Vice President has jumped the gun by trying to prematurely close the debate. So, I say the debate cannot and must not be prematurely closed. It can only be closed when it has been exhausted. That is my matter of privilege which I have raised Mr. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER: What I noticed is repetition and this House cannot listen to repetition unless you come up with something fresh, I will allow debate, otherwise I shall rule against any further debate on the adjournment.

HON. MLISWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I think this is a time when a voice of reason for an independent thinker should come to fruition.  I do understand that the Hon. Vice President wanted the debate adjourned and I think the opposition objected to that, which is equally fair.  However, I think we must be progressive too.  I wish that we really count the amount of time we are spending in debating this when the outcome is obvious – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – the majority will have their say and the minority will have their own.

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