Heated debate over when civil servants or parastatals employees wishing to contest elections should resign


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THE HON. MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI-KASHIRI): Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank the Hon. Member for raising that very important matter in which he has quoted some constitutional provision which only applies to situations where a Member of the civil service decides to stand or go through the nomination courts. At that point then, that civil servant should resign and so, I would want to remind him that an indication is not realised to be a breach of the constitutional provision unless he has successfully presented himself for nomination. We need to differentiate the two. The intention is there but he has not tampered with any constitutional provision at all and until that stage, then the Hon. Member has the right to raise that issue. I thank you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order. That is very clear in terms of our Constitution and, this has happened so many times. It is not the first time. The Constitution allows it and who are you to say no.

HON. SARUWAKA: Mr. Speaker it does not say so. It does not.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA: The Hon. Minister has indicated that the prevailing situation applies only when that person has approached the nomination court and I am not so sure where the Hon. Minister is drawing that from. I am sure it is not coming from the Constitution because it is not there in the Constitution and then I wanted also to know, in that situation whilst that person is waiting for the Nomination Court, will they discharge their responsibility in that position that they are in a manner that is unbiased or that is not favourable to a particular group of people who might not belong to the political party that they are in.  So I am seeking clarity around that area Hon. Speaker.

THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHINGURI-KASHIRI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank Hon. Sibanda for that supplementary question.  I want also us to appreciate that him and other Members in the House came from either National Railways of Zimbabwe, which was a parastatal and indeed they were allowed to campaign until they were successful.  I am really surprised that with freedom of association, this Sakupwanya also has that right where he makes his decision while waiting for that opportune time, if he wants to associate himself with any political party as the case with any other Member in this House, he has that Constitutional right.

So, I am simply reminding the Hon. Member that until there is an abrogation of the rules which dictate that constitutionally a Chief Executive Officer of a parastatal is not allowed to associate with any political party – because as far as I am concerned, the Constitution is silent on that matter.  Equally, I would also throw it back to them that there is no such a provision; it allows people to have freedom of association.  I thank you.

HON. SARUWAKA: I am seeking clarification that we are aware that there is a list that was produced by ZANU PF of its members who successfully won the primary elections, hence their candidates, that means he is now holding a position in ZANU PF as the candidate for Mutasa Central.  That is a clear violation of the Constitution because it clearly says that once one holds a position, they cannot continue as a civil servant.  He now holds a position as a candidate representing ZANU PF in Mutasa Central.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: In terms of the Constitution, I am sure you have gone through, it says here members of the civil service and this is a parastatal, which is not the civil service.  So, that kills the story.

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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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