Speaker and President of Senate warn ministers of stern measures if they continue to neglect parliamentary business


0

The Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda and the President of the Senate Edna Madzongwe yesterday warned government ministers and their deputies that parliament would take stern measures on those who continued to neglect their parliamentary duties including charging them with Contempt of Parliament.

In separate but identical statements read to the two houses before the start of business yesterday, the two said some motions had been on the order paper since last year because there had been no responses from the relevant ministers.

Some members’ questions had been deferred for up to three months because of the continued absence of the relevant ministers.

Both cited constitutional provisions which stipulated ministers’ and deputy ministers’ duties, including one which stated that: “Every Vice-President, Minister and Deputy Minister must attend Parliament and Parliamentary Committees in order to answer questions concerning matters for which he or she is collectively or individually responsible."

“The Chair would, therefore, like to serve notice to all hon. Ministers and Deputy Ministers that the Senate will not allow this situation where some of them neglect their parliamentary duties to continue unabated,” Madzongwe said in her version.

“The Senate will reprimand Ministers and Deputy Ministers who persistently prioritise other duties above their Parliament duties.

“The Chair wishes to further give notice that; should this not produce the desired effect, the Senate will be left with no option but to invoke other constitutional powers at its disposal including Contempt of Parliament.

“The Chair is, therefore, making an appeal to all hon. Ministers and Deputy Ministers to demonstrate respect and appreciation of their Constitutional obligations in serving the nation through their parliamentary duties.”

Both houses adjourned yesterday to 26 August.

 

Full statement:

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY MADAM PRESIDENT NEGLECT OF PARLIAMENTARY BUSINESS BY MINISTERS AND MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT

 

MADAM PRESIDENT: Since the beginning of the First Session of the Eighth Parliament, the Chair has observed a very worrying trend of some Ministers and Deputy Ministers prioritising other commitments to the detriment of the business of Parliament. Consequently, most members’ motions have been on the Order Paper since last year and have not been concluded because there have been no responses from the relevant Ministers. In addition, a number of members’ questions have been deferred for up to three months due to the continued absence of the relevant Ministers.

I wish to remind honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers of the provisions of Sections 104 and 107 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which state that:

107 (1) “Subject to this Constitution, every Vice-President, Minister and Deputy Minister is accountable, collectively and individually, to the President for the performance of his or her functions."

104 (1) “The President appoints Ministers and assigns functions to them, including the administration of any Act of Parliament or of any ministry or department…"

104 (2) “The President may appoint Deputy Ministers to assist any Minister in the exercise of his or her functions."

107 (2) “Every Vice-President, Minister and Deputy Minister must attend Parliament and Parliamentary Committees in order to answer questions concerning matters for which he or she is collectively or individually responsible."

Even the most elementary interpretation of the above provisions of the Constitution, and hon. Ministers have a capacity which is way above an elementary interpretation of the Constitution, reveals that Ministers and Deputy Ministers have an inescapable obligation to attend to their Parliamentary duties as an integral part of the functions the President assigns to them.

Section 119 (1) specifically states that, “Parliament must protect the Constitution and promote democratic governance in Zimbabwe…,” a constitutional mandate which all of us, especially Ministers and Deputy Ministers, must take very seriously.

The Chair would, therefore, like to serve notice to all hon. Ministers and Deputy Ministers that the Senate will not allow this situation where some of them neglect their parliamentary duties to continue unabated.

The Senate will reprimand Ministers and Deputy Ministers who persistently prioritise other duties above their Parliament duties.

The Chair wishes to further give notice that; should this not produce the desired effect, the Senate will be left with no option but to invoke other constitutional powers at its disposal including Contempt of Parliament.

The Chair is, therefore, making an appeal to all hon. Ministers and Deputy Ministers to demonstrate respect and appreciation of their Constitutional obligations in serving the nation through their parliamentary duties.

 

(14 VIEWS)

Don't be shellfish... Please SHARETweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Email this to someone
email
Print this page
Print

Like it? Share with your friends!

0
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.

0 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *