Zimbabwe Speaker of Parliament to charge ministers who fail to turn up for question time with contempt 


HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I know some who are out on duty.  Hon. July Moyo is not around, Hon. Masuka travelled, Hon. Murwira also travelled, Hon. Sen. Mutsvangwa travelled also, Hon. Muchinguri-Kashiri has commitments. She sent her apology, otherwise she would have been here.  I am not very sure about the Deputy Ministers, why they are not here.  I cannot speak for them.  I hope the others will come. I am not sure why they are late but the message is very clear that we should be attending Parliament sessions and be able to discharge our constitutional duty  to be in Parliament on Wednesdays to answer questions.  I thank you.

HON. GONESE:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker.  I am indebted to the Hon. Leader of the House and the Leader of Government Business and also the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs for his attempt to explain the absence of the other Hon. Ministers.  However Mr. Speaker, in terms of our Standing Orders, it is my submission that for those Hon. Ministers who are away on duty, as the Hon. Minister has indicated – they are Government officials, they are Ministry officials and I believe that if they take their responsibilities seriously, they would have endeavoured to send their applications of leave of absence to your office.  Over and above that Mr. Speaker Sir, we have other Ministers for whom the Hon. Leader of Government Business cannot explain as well as Deputy Ministers.

Mr. Speaker Sir, for those who come late, that is a different story, but for those who will not come at all, it means that they have shown disdain and contempt for this institution and my humble request is that by the end of today, with the administration of Parliament, I believe that there should be a follow up so that those who would not have been able to come, who have not given an explanation, who have not sought  leave of absence, that a motion of censure be put forward and it can only be done if we have those details at the end of the day.  I think it is about time Mr. Speaker.  It is something which we have been talking about over and over again.  Those would be my submissions Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Gonese for your accommodating observation.  We will wait until towards the end of business and then the Clerk with his officials will then come up with a list which we can use to charge for contempt of Parliament because I have written to His Excellency more than once.  Once I write, Hon. Ministers troop in.  After two sessions they disappear and then they are reminded. 

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.



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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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