Mudenda orders MPs to behave


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The Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda last week issued an order to legislators not to interrupt the flow of debate through unnecessary point-of-orders.

Mudenda said he had noticed that point-of-order requests were being abused to interrupt members who had the floor.

“I noted with concern that this Standing Rule and Order is prone to abuse as more often than not, members just rise from their seats to raise frivolous and vexatious points of order which are not supported by any authority in the form of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Statutes law, Standing Orders or known customs and practices,” Mudenda said.

“Therefore, to ensure the smooth flow of debate and House proceedings, I hereby direct that with immediate effect, no point of order shall be admitted for consideration unless the member raising this gives specific reference to the Standing Rule and Order that is allegedly being impugned or violated. Anyone raising a point of order must state the Standing Rule and Order they are relying on and the specific relief being sought.”

The House resumes sitting today, after adjourning on Thursday.

The public usually has a chance to see these interjections on Wednesday during question time.

 

ABUSE OF HOUSE PROCEDURES RELATIVE TO POINTS OF ORDER

MR. SPEAKER: There are two serious matters that I want you to pay attention to. The first one is the abuse of House procedures relative to Points of Order. Standing Rule and Order Number 85, subsection 2 of the National Assembly provides as follows:-

No member shall interrupt another member while speaking, save when the consent of that member or unless:

i) To call attention to a point of order or breach of privilege suddenly arising;

ii) To call attention to the want of a quorum.

I noted with concern that this Standing Rule and Order is prone to abuse as more often than not, members just rise from their seats to raise frivolous and vexatious points of order which are not supported by any authority in the form of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Statutes law, Standing Orders or known customs and practices. Therefore, to ensure the smooth flow of debate and House proceedings, I hereby direct that with immediate effect, no point of order shall be admitted for consideration unless the member raising this gives specific reference to the Standing Rule and Order that is allegedly being impugned or violated. Anyone raising a point of order must state the Standing Rule and Order they are relying on and the specific relief being sought.

Now, this directive is consistent with Standing Rule and Order No. 93, subsection 1(f) of the National Assembly which states that “no member shall while speaking to a question, use his or right of speech for the purpose of obstructing the proceedings of the House, abusing the rules or misusing the forms of the House”. So hon. members, be advised accordingly.

(604 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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