Mugabe slams his ministers

Mugabe slams his ministers
Published: 13 September 2017 (209 Views)
President Robert Mugabe received a rare round of applause from all legislators during the State Opening of Parliament yesterday after he sharply rebuked ministers for their frequent absence from Parliament sessions.

This comes as it has become a trait of the Fourth Parliament that rogue ministers dodge accountability by absenting themselves when they know they will be faced with tough questions.

This comes amid opposition complaints that ministers were contemptuously bunking Parliament without a valid excuse, both from sessions and from the gatherings of parliamentary committees which the lawmakers are members of.

The list of legitimate reasons for failing to attend includes standard ones such as holiday, illness or death of relatives, and more specific ones such as carrying out party business, attending the politburo, and various insurmountable circumstances, such as delayed flights, traffic jams and home emergencies.

Mugabe, who opened the main ceremonial event of the 5th session of the 8th Parliament by proceeding from State House to the House in a royal carriage, said ministers must be serious with Parliament business.

Overjoyed opposition legislators shouted the names of Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko and Foreign Affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi as the chief culprits in bunking, with Mugabe responding by halting his speech, apparently to pay attention to calls by the MPs.

"Those who do not take the business of this house serious have no impeccable parliamentary conduct but we expect robust debate and well-informed debate from all members who should always be present, punctual, disciplined, and professional and of impeccable parliamentary conduct," he said, adding that "much more is even expected from Cabinet ministers who should lead by example."

Zanu-PF chief whip Lovemore Matuke told the Daily News: "We have always complained about bunking ministers and it looked like no action would be taken, but now we are happy that the president has noted that in his speech and we hope that a solution will be found soon to make sure that Parliament business is not disrupted unnecessarily."

MDC MP for Zengeza West Simon Chidhakwa said: "You will not see the robust debate that he is talking about because they are always busy at the politburo dealing with their succession issues.

"It is therefore surprising that Mugabe talks about respect for parliamentary business when it is a fact that when the ministers don’t come to the National Assembly, he will be with them in the politburo but he never bothers to release them for the House."

Commenting on Mugabe’s speech, MDC chief whip Innocent Gonese said "there is really nothing new from the speech as it leaves out the fundamentals."

"Nothing has been said about the things that matter to the ordinary people especially service delivery, the electoral environment and other issues, but we are not surprised because he is not in touch with the reality on the ground as he is always away," Gonese said.

Opposition MPs have said it is important to purge all shirkers and loafers from the parliamentary halls and set an example for everyone by preferring contempt of Parliament charges to restrain ministers from bunking.

Privileges, Immunities and Powers of Parliament Act give the legislature power to impose not only fines for contempt of Parliament, but also imprisonment for up to two years in default of payment of the fines.

In the National Assembly, Wednesdays are devoted to questions for ministers to answer; while the Senate holds its question time on Thursdays. On the set days, there is a session for questions with notice and another for questions without notice.

In the questions without notice session, MPs have the opportunity to pose impromptu questions to Cabinet ministers on issues affecting the nation with each question directed at a particular minister depending on their portfolio.

In the questions with notice session, written questions are forwarded to the ministers prior to the sitting and they are read in the august House for responses.

Yet, in a worrying trend, some Cabinet ministers have decided to leave the entire job to their deputies who have a difficult time when hit by a barrage of questions from the legislators.

- dailynews

 0

You May Like These Videos

Comments

There are no comments.

Latest stories

Sleeping Mugabe now a huge liability

by Staff reporter | 24 September 2017 | 173 Views

BREAKING: Armed cops storm church, arrests Mawarire while preaching

by Staff reporter | 24 September 2017 | 200 Views

Bulawayo rejects bond notes

by Staff reporter | 24 September 2017 | 231 Views

Bosso, Dembare booted out of Chibuku Cup

by Staff reporter | 24 September 2017 | 106 Views

What to do now that Tsvangirai is sick?

by Barnabas Thondhlana | 24 September 2017 | 127 Views

WATCH: RBZ trying to calm panicked Zimbabweans

by Ndou Paul | 24 September 2017 | 96 Views

Zimbabwe now back to 2008 doom

by Staff reporter | 24 September 2017 | 103 Views

Zimbabwe prisoners deprived of ARVs

by Staff reporter | 24 September 2017 | 60 Views

Mujuru's death will remain a mystry

by Staf reporter | 24 September 2017 | 70 Views

Mugabe set to appoint a deputy chief justice

by Staff reporter | 24 September 2017 | 61 Views

Koreans to perform Jah Prayzah's 'Mdhara Achauya'

by Staff reporter | 24 September 2017 | 83 Views

Zimbabwe parliament reduced to hall of comedy

by Staff reporter | 24 September 2017 | 61 Views

MDC Alliance continues to face resistance from Matabeleland

by Staff reporter | 24 September 2017 | 30 Views

Might Warriors beaten by Banyana Banyana

by Staff reporter | 24 September 2017 | 64 Views

Tsvangirai get this honest opinion and analysis to protect your legacy

by Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo | 24 September 2017 | 62 Views

NRZ $400 million deal 'dead in the water'

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2017 | 117 Views

Issue IDs for free: Chombo

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2017 | 121 Views

ZESA Holdings training intake

by zesa | 23 September 2017 | 151 Views

Kingship and Nationalism will not solve Matabeleland problems

by Mbonisi Gumbo | 23 September 2017 | 90 Views

Zimbabwe's own Kenneth Kaunda

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2017 | 101 Views

Death row inmates graduate

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2017 | 111 Views

$153 million for RG Mugabe Airport upgrade

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2017 | 75 Views

Nhari-Badza rebellion was always coming

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2017 | 111 Views

Harare - Beitbridge road dualisation starts

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2017 | 97 Views

PDP Coalition status, setting the record straight

by Jacob Mafume, PDP Spokesperson | 23 September 2017 | 85 Views

Mphoko consoles Msika family

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2017 | 71 Views

Violent Grace surprises South African police

by Israel Dube | 23 September 2017 | 219 Views

Is Zimbabwe opposition ready to remove Mugabe regime?

by Sakhile Sibanda | 23 September 2017 | 103 Views

Tsvangirai's greed has turned into madness and now it threatens us all

by Wilbert Mukori | 23 September 2017 | 162 Views

Wishing Tsvangirai a speedy recovery, Cdes

by CZ | 23 September 2017 | 89 Views

Malawi President praises Mugabe

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2017 | 81 Views

Raffle ticket books vanish at police station

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2017 | 78 Views

Mugabe's government owes MDC-T $3 million

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2017 | 75 Views

Ailing Tsvangirai to stay longer in S. Africa

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2017 | 85 Views

Minister assures civil servants on bonuses

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2017 | 77 Views

Man mistakes hawker for wife's lover

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2017 | 96 Views

Mujuru, Biti, Dabengwa form another coalition

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2017 | 83 Views