Citizens Coalition for Change chief whip Prosper Mutseyami yesterday told Parliament that legislators may be forced to debate the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission preliminary delimitation report online on Tuesday and Wednesday next week because they do not have money for accommodation.
Speaking after Pupurai Togarepi, chairman of the Ad Hoc committee that was appointed to analyse the delimitation report, had presented the committee’s findings to Parliament yesterday, Mutseyami said most legislators would prefer to come to the House on 17 and 18 January to debate the report because of network challenges but they may be forced to go virtual because accommodation is a big problem.
“My prayer is for the administration of Parliament, treasury and our Hon. Minister of Justice to give us a clear commitment that our Members will be allowed to be in the House physically and debate on 17th and 18th,” he said.
The temporary Speaker said legislators will be advised about the availability of accommodation before the 17th.
The delimitation report has been severely criticised by various organisations and Parliament said it had a lot of flaws that needed to be addressed.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. With the indulgence of the House and yourself Mr. Speaker, I need to put it on record that we have a problem with our Members of Parliament in terms of them debating to this Preliminary Delimitation Report. In that regard, most of our Members, regardless of their willingness to debate, are being forced to go on virtual. Why? Because we have a challenge with Treasury and the Administration of Parliament, in terms of accommodation for Members of Parliament and that is a big problem.
So now with this position with regard to the report, Members are supposed to debate on the 17th and 18th. The challenge we have is that of network across the country because of the load shedding challenge which is a big issue. So Members have to come to the House and represent their constituencies and the people that voted for them so that they will debate physically. My prayer is for the Administration of Parliament, Treasury and our Hon. Minister of Justice to give us a clear commitment that our Members will be allowed to be in the House physically and debate on 17th and 18th. That is my prayer. Thank you.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you for having raised that pertinent issue. We need to make sure that the Administration of Parliament looks into that issue and I do hope they are actually doing that and Members will be advised before the 17th. Thank you.