ICYMI-Mnangagwa tells opposition “don’t worry about absence of ministers in Parliament, I can answer all questions to do with government policy”


HON. GONESE:  Thank you very much Hon. Speaker Sir, just as a follow up and also to get some clarity.  You have indicated that the officials take note of those Ministers who have not sought leave of absence.  At the moment, I note that from the list that you read out, it is only Deputy Ministers who have given apologies for today and I noticed that we have got one or two Ministers …

THE HON. SPEAKER:  And Prof. Moyo.

HON. GONESE:  And Prof. Moyo, which means to say that the vast majority of the Ministers have not sought leave of absence.  In particular, I take note of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Mbengegwi who is a perennial absentee and Hon. Parirenyatwa who is usually also not present in this august House.

I would like to find out whether in terms of the ruling or what you have said, we are now going to do something tangible?  I think time and again, we have raised these issues and I think the Chair, including the Deputy Speaker and members of the Speaker’s Panel have agreed with the sentiments raised by Hon. Members of Parliament.  What has been lacking is concrete steps being taken to ensure that this problem is nipped in the bud.  I think we have pointed out before and I think the Hon. Vice President of the Movement for Democratic Change has pointed out the fact that we do have powers in terms of the Standing Orders.  The provisions are clear that those Ministers who are truant are guilty of contempt of Parliament and I think the time has now come Mr. Speaker Sir, to crack the whip so that Ministers become aware that being truant is going to be visited with appropriate punishment as prescribed in the Standing Orders of this august House.

I believe that we should go a step further in that your office, Mr. Speaker Sir, must actually take measures and implementing mechanisms to ensure that this problem is dealt with once and for all, so that we do not continue coming to this august House to raise the same issues and then sound like a broken record by repeating ourselves.  We do not like to do that Mr. Speaker, and I think it is now time for us to do something concrete and decisive – those are my submissions Mr. Speaker. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Appreciated and fully noted by the Chair.

HON. MLISWA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir!

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Is it a point of order?

HON. MLISWA:  I think mine Mr. Speaker really is to support what they are saying, but more important.  You said you had written to His Excellency the President and Commander in Chief about the performance of his Ministers who are not coming because in their not coming, they are certainly not doing what they are expected to do.  When they are appointed by the President to be Ministers or Deputy Ministers, they are actually representing the entire Executive which is headed by him.  You have not told us of the response of His Excellency the President in that regard, because if His Excellency who is the Head of State, Judiciary, Executive and Parliament does not respond to that, it also shows the attitude the Ministers have.

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The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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