Is there a conflict between elected and non-elected MPs?


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A Member of Parliament has alluded that there could be a conflict between elected members of the House of Assembly and the non-constituency legislators elected on the proportional representation system.

Speaking during the debate on the harassment of women vendors Gertrude Chibagu said when legislators talk about development, they should do so in unison.

“Let us speak as people who are in need of development in their areas. Let us not segregate ourselves because one hon. member was elected and the other is on a proportional representation system. That should not divide us because we have known that some people have started to divide themselves along being voted into power and proportional representation. We are one and the same and when we are sitting here debating, we are not stooges. We can read situations on what will be happening in this House. When we study the situation, we interpret it and give it appropriate meaning,” she said.

“Sons and daughters of Zimbabwe, you are clever, you are intelligent. Whenever you move around and see the people of Zimbabwe in other countries, they are people of high calibre, what is needed is for us to be united.”

 

Full contribution:

 

*MRS. CHIBAGU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank Hon. Nyamupinga for raising this motion and seconded by Hon. Matibenga. This is a very important motion. I have risen to make my contribution because since the time we started this session, we have not agreed on a lot of issues, but now we are united as the people of Zimbabwe. We believe that vendors are human beings like us and they need our assistance. What we need is that, whatever we debate in this House, should be implemented. Even outside the Harare CBD, we will find people selling at appropriate places not randomly like what is happening now.

As policemen will be patrolling in their areas, they will be doing their duty to protect the country’s laws. Therefore, they should be aware of the fact that, the women who are selling on the streets are doing it so that they can hold their families together and put food on the table. However, they are doing it blindly because there are no rules and laws to be followed. Now that we are in the 8th Parliament, there are more women who have been introduced into the legislative system, the reason being that we need to talk about development.

In the past 34 years, there was little or no development at all in the rural areas, but now we have been shown what is happening in other countries. Let us move around and copy the good ideas which are being implemented there and take them into our homes. Let us not just travel out on business or leisure like tourists. When we travel to countries like China or others, we should learn and bring new ideas to Zimbabwe so that we implement them so that at the end of our term, we will be able to point out some of the progressive ideas we would have implemented during our time. When we travel out on business trips, we are not doing so as tourists, but as Members of Parliament and implementers.

Sons and daughters of Zimbabwe, you are clever, you are intelligent. Whenever you move around and see the people of Zimbabwe in other countries, they are people of high calibre, what is needed is for us to be united. Currently, we have our Ministers, Governors and Members of Parliament; we need to sit down, be united and talk about production and development in our constituencies. As a result, when you see a woman leaving her house and coming to be a vendor, it is because of the problem she would have faced in her home and she has to come.

However, when men earn some money, if they get US$200.00 as a salary, a US$100.00 is spend on leisure whilst the other US$100.00 is given to the woman and the family at home. On the contrary, when a woman is given the same amount, all of it is used in the development and welfare of the home. As women Members of Parliament, we need to talk about our problems at home and when we visit our constituencies, we implement solutions. What I am calling for is unity of action, unity among Members of Parliament. When you move around some areas, for example going to hospitals, the person who suffers most because of certain situations is the woman. Men are only there to support when they are called to, whilst the woman is called by nature to be a caretaker in the home.

I am urging hon. members that whenever we are talking about development in this august House, let us talk in unison. Let us avoid unnecessary politicking. Let us speak as people who are in need of development in their areas. Let us not segregate ourselves because one hon. member was elected and the other is on a proportional representation system. That should not divide us because we have known that some people have started to divide themselves along being voted into power and proportional representation. We are one and the same and when we are sitting here debating, we are not stooges – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – We can read situations on what will be happening in this House. When we study the situation, we interpret it and give it appropriate meaning.

When I stand up to make my contribution, I would have made my observations. I would like us to move forward as one team so that when we go out to give our report back to our constituencies, we are speaking in one language. When we go back to our constituencies and talk about the vendors, whether you are an elected Member of Parliament or a proportional representative, let us speak with one voice. We need to talk as a team; we should call for a meeting to address people at the same time. We should brief them on what is happening on the vendor situation so that they do not depend on rumour mongering.

When we report back to our people, they will go and implement those projects. Even the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio- Economic Transformation (ZIM ASSET) can be understood because we know that it was introduced to the people where they did not know what it was all about. However, if as Parliamentarians, we go to the people as a united force, and speak with one language, then we will promote progress amongst our people. Let us not debate for the sake of debating as Hon. Chibagu. Some of us, as soon as we make our contributions; we dump all that when we leave this House. I am urging my fellow Parliamentarians to talk about development in our constituencies. Mr. Speaker Sir, I beg my fellow hon. members to talk as patriotic people. As we debate now in this House, our constituents are waiting for a progressive feedback from us. That is my contribution Mr. Speaker, I thank you.

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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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