Mnangagwa says Mugabe cannot force ministers to attend Parliament but Parliament can


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Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa said President Robert Mugabe cannot force cabinet ministers to attend Parliament but Parliament itself can by making sure that all members of the house, including ministers, obey legislative rules and procedures.

He was responding to a question by Buhera Central legislator Ronald Muderedzwa on what the government policy was on ministers failing to respond to motions and reports being debated in Parliament.

Mnangagwa said the attendance of ministers in the House had nothing to do with government policy. There were three arms of government: the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. The executive did not interfere with the procedures of the legislature.

“I am very clear. He (Muderedzwa) is asking whether there is government policy and the government policy resides in the Executive but the procedures in Parliament about motions do not reside in the Executive. They reside in the Legislature.

“So I am completely correct in advising the hon. member that his question can be resolved by the Legislature itself by making sure that Ministers obey legislative rules and procedures in this House. That does not at all relate to the policy of Government. It relates to procedures of Parliament or the Legislature.

“So the offensive, which you would want to cure cannot be done by the Executive, but will be done by this House by making sure regulations are tight and that hon. members of this House, be they Ministers or whoever, respond to motions that are raised in this House,” Mnangagwa said.

 

Q & A:

 

MR. MUDEREDZWA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the leader of the House, who is the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon. members please lower your voices when whispering so that the question is heard by the Minister.

MR. MUDEREDZWA: Madam Speaker, I said my question is directed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, who is the leader of the House. My question is about Cabinet Ministers responding to motions and reports that are being debated in this House.  What is Government policy on motions and reports that are being debated in this House? It appears as if there are a number of motions that have been debated but Ministers have not come to respond to those motions and reports and as a result, the Order Paper is at a standstill.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (MR. MNANGAGWA): I thank the hon. member for asking that question. For him to appreciate the context of his question, I need to explain to him that the State has three arms.  The first arm is that of the Executive. The second is that of the Legislature and the third is that of the Judiciary. Now, he is asking a question, why the Executive does not interfere into the procedures of the Legislature. Let me assure – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. member, may we have order please. May be I can ask the hon. member to ask his question again but I do not think it is interfering. The hon. member is asking – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – why the Ministers are not responding to all motions which are moved in this House – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]. –

MR. MNANGAGWA: Madam Speaker, I am very clear. He is asking whether there is Government policy and the Government policy resides in the Executive but the procedures in Parliament about motions do not reside in the Executive. They reside in the Legislature. So I am completely correct in advising the hon. member that his question can be resolved by the Legislature itself by making sure that Ministers obey legislative rules and procedures in this House. That does not at all relate to the policy of Government. It relates to procedures of Parliament or the Legislature. So the offensive, which you would want to cure cannot be done by the Executive, but will be done by this House by making sure regulations are tight and that hon. members of this House, be they Ministers or whoever, respond to motions that are raised in this House. So, I would advise the hon. member and I am of the similar opinion that the answers are found here.

(164 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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