Ask ministers questions not Bob, senators told


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Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa said yesterday Members of Parliament cannot ask the President questions in Parliament. They should direct all their questions to ministers.

Mnangagwa had been asked by Senator Agnes Sibanda whether there was a possibility for the President to come to the Senate of House of Assembly to answer questions?

The Senate has question time on Thursday while question time in the House of Assembly is every Wednesday.

Both the Speaker of the House of Assembly and the President of the Senate complained just before t he houses adjourned in July that ministers were not coming to answer questions and could be charged with contempt of Parliament.

The President of the Senate Edna Madzongwe yesterday thanked the ministers for their positive response as there were several ministers and deputy ministers during question time in the Senate yesterday.

Responding to Senator Sibanda , Mnangagwa said the President only came to Parliament for the official opening and when he wanted to make a State of the Nation address.

“The idea that he should come here in the Senate or in the National Assembly to answer question and answer sessions is not there. If you want to ask questions to the government, these are the people, the Ministers, ask them questions. The President will not come here except for the times that I have referred to. When he decides on an extra-ordinary issue, he has the right to convene Parliament and address it but legally, he is supposed to address at the Official Opening of Parliament or at the State of the Nation Address. That is all, “Mnangagwa said.

 

Q & A:

 

+SENATOR SIBANDA: Thank you Madam President. I would like to pose a question to the Leader of the House, Hon. Mnangagwa. What does the law say in as far as the President’s address to Parliament? Is there a possibility that the President can come and address either the Senate or the National Assembly or it could be during question time? Is it lawful that he can come and do that?

*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (MR. MNANGAGWA): The first thing is that Parliament has two houses, the National Assembly and the Senate. When the President decides to address the State of the Nation, he can also convene Parliament and make an address. The idea that he should come here in the Senate or in the National Assembly to answer question and answer sessions is not there. If you want to ask questions to the Government, these are the people, the Ministers, ask them questions. The President will not come here except for the times that I have referred to. When he decides on an extra-ordinary issue, he has the right to convene Parliament and address it but legally, he is supposed to address at the Official Opening of Parliament or at the State of the Nation Address. That is all. I thank you.

(3270 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
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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