Zimbabwe Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda has promised to charge ministers who fail to turn up for question time in Parliament with contempt of Parliament.
Question time in the National Assembly is held every Wednesday while that for the Senate is held the following day.
Mudenda said this after reading the list of ministers who had submitted apologies for failing to turn up but said they must now be charged with contempt because this was becoming a nuisance.
He said he had written to President Emmerson Mnangagwa more than once complaining about the failure of ministers to turn up for question time.
“Once I write, Hon. Ministers troop in. After two sessions they disappear and then they are reminded,” Mudenda said.
“I am aware that they are reminded in Cabinet through the Leader of Government Business and they have not taken Parliamentary business seriously in terms of section 107 (2) of the Constitution. So we will have to move accordingly and charge those that will not appear in contempt of Parliament in terms of our Standing Orders.”
APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have received the following apologies from Hon. Ministers:
Hon. O. C. Z. Muchinguri-Kashiri, Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs;
Hon. Prof. P. Mavima, Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare;
Hon. Sen. M. Mutsvangwa, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services;
Hon. M. N. Ndlovu, Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry;
Hon. Amb. Dr. F.M. Shava, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade;
Hon. Dr. A.J. Masuka, Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement;
Hon. E. Moyo, Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education;
Hon. Z. Soda, Minister of Energy and Power Development; and
Hon. Prof. A. Murwira, Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development.
However, the Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care said he should be here at 4 o’clock. Hon. Leader of Government Business, is there any explanation of other Ministers who are not here?
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Hon. Speaker. I think for the benefit of others, it would be proper for Hon. Ziyambi to explain your question to us Members why the Ministers are not here. I think it would be proper for Hon. Ziyambi to explain to us Members why the Ministers are not here when you asked the question. It is us who should know why they are not here. You are well informed that he is the Leader of Government Business and he should respond to that.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Mr. Speaker, I know the Ministers who have travelled and have commitments. Hon. July Moyo has travelled outside the country.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Minister, you are not connected.
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