Opposition legislator Norman Markham has asked when it becomes a dereliction of duty when a minister fails to attend Parliament question time or to respond to requests for a ministerial statement.
He said he had counted 40 times, the number of times the issue of ministers failing to attend question time had been raised over the past four years.
Markham said Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, who is also Minister of Health, was asked three months ago to explain why suppliers to the ministry had not been paid since October but he has not done so up to now.
Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe was asked to issue a ministerial statement on ID registration while Finance Minister Mthlu Ncube was asked for a detailed statement on the special drawing rights, but both had not done so up to now.
“When does it become a dereliction of duty either from the ministry or from this House or the Chief Whip who is asked to pass on the messages? I am at a loss on what to do or what we are doing,” Markham said.
HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Hon. Speaker and good afternoon. My point of national interest is on the issues in the House. The first issue I would like to draw to your attention which I am sure you are aware of is that, Hon. Mliswa has mentioned it and I have counted 40 times, the attendance of Ministers at Questions without Notice. Nothing has changed in four years. I wonder when it becomes a dereliction of duty when Ministers do not attend. I am not going to hope on that.
Three months ago, the Ministry of Health and Child Care was asked to explain or give a statement on my request by the Deputy Speaker on why suppliers for the Ministry of Health had not been paid, some of them since October last year, particularly when their draw down at the supplementary budget stage was only about 25%. Is it the problem with the allocation from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development or it is the problem with the allocation or the request from the Ministry of Health and Child Care? We want to know as a House because the health services are an integral part of the country.
The next issue is also the same thing with the Ministry of Home Affairs. You ruled…
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, one issue of national interest.
HON. MARKHAM: They are all in the national interest pertaining to…
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, one. You are proceeding to a third issue now according to your deliberation and they are different issues.
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