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


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HON. MAJOME: On a point of privilege Hon. Speaker.  My point of privilege is on the same issue.  Possibly the Clerk, Mr. Gandiwa who was advising you might not be familiar with the provisions of Section 196 (c) and Section 196:2, which provide as follows – In fact I should start at Section 194:1, that is Principles of Public Administration on Leadership, which is a chapter that is devoted to the conduct of all those people who are in State service, whether they are civil servants or officers of parastatals, such as the one being asked.

Section 194 goes to town about the basic values on principles governing public administration.  Section 194:1, paragraph (a), provides that public administration in all tiers of Government, including institutions and agencies of State and Government controlled entities and other public enterprises such as the one in question, must be governed by the democratic values and principles enshrined in this Constitution, including the following principles:- Paragraph (a) –  it looks like the clerk who has misled you is destructing you.  Paragraph a, says high standards of professional ethics must be maintained and promoted.  This means that the Constitution requires an exceedingly high level of proper conduct, because it brings in the issue of ethics.  Ethics would even apply even the law did not apply, it is wrong.  It means it is simply wrong for a person employed by a public entity to engage in a manner that puts their neutrality into doubt.

Further, Section 196:1 (c), provides that authority assigned to a public officer, such as the one that the Hon. Minister is talking about is a public trust which must be exercised in a manner which promotes public confidence in the office held by the public officer.  Mr. Speaker Sir, if I was in Hon. Saruwaka’s constituency and I was to see an official of a State entity, going around, openly associating with a political party, campaigning in it and so on and becoming even a successful candidate of the party, possibly I would suspect that they are using State funds and I would not have confidence in them.  This is what is provided for…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Member.  We are on Question Time.  The question was raised by Hon. Saruwaka and it was responded to by the Hon. Minister.  We are not debating.

HON. MAJOME: It is the duty of this of Parliament…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  You are now engaging in a debate, this is Question Time.

HON. MAJOME: Hon. Speaker Sir, it was a point of privilege because if you recall, one of the responsibilities of this Parliament is to ensure that the provisions of this Constitution are upheld.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: The Minister has done that.

HON. MAJOME: The Hon. Minister has a duty to ensure that they abide faithfully to the letter and spirit of this Constitution.  It is a cause for concern if we take a – [THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member no debate, we are on Question Time.] –

HON. SARUWAKA: Hon. Speaker, the point was the Minister had misled the nation that this particular individual is not affected after he was advised by – but the provisions of the Constitution point back to say that he is still in breach of the Constitution. – [HON. MEMBERS: How?] – As I indicated, he is part of the civil service.

THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE (HON. MUCHUNGURI-KASHIR): Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I can understand the concerns that Hon. Saruwaka has, this is a Doctor really going into a constituency and really it sends some shivers apparently, but what I want to state again is that whilst I appreciate the issue raised by Hon. Majome, I would want also to point to the fact that we need isolate the two.  Also she should have read that Section of 194 of the Constitution with the freedom of association, for us to also appreciate the rights that are bestowed on individuals.  So that if not looked at in isolation, where a person decides to join politics and is getting into that field, at what point are they declared now to be incompetent or unable to serve the people.  I think we need to separate the two.  He is not yet a candidate.  He can only be a candidate at a point where he is approaching the Nomination Court – [HON. MAJOME:  Mr. Speaker Sir, there are limitations in Section 86 that they are not absolute.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order.  I overrule you.

(296 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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