Majome asks why Zimbabwe registrar-general Mudede is still employed, if he is over 65?




Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede

Opposition legislator Jessie Majome last week raised a furore after new Public Service Minister, Patrick Zhuwao, failed to turn up in Parliament for question time to answer the a question about why registrar-general Tobaiwa Mudede was still working for the government if he was over 65.

She wanted to know how old Mudede was and said this did not need the minister any time to establish.

“This is about the fourth time that I am raising this issue,” she said.

“I am concerned that this House is not using the powers that it has. It is almost as if we are treating the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare with kid gloves on such an important issue.

“Last week, there was the excuse that the Minister was new and he needed to be handed over power but his Deputy was there. The other week, the Minister who was reshuffled claimed that she was not ready for the question but her Deputy was there. Previously again, the Ministry of Home Affairs avoided this question.” Majome said.

“It is a simple question, how old is the Registrar General?  Is he over the age of 65?  If he is over the age of 65 why has he not retired?

“Surely Madam Speaker that is what the question says.  Surely it is a fact that can be established by anyone.  There is a whole ministry, surely the age of the Registrar General is not a matter that requires rocket science, the Deputy Minister has not been reshuffled.   By now Hon. Speaker an answer must have been written.  All the Minister needs to do is to come here and simply read the question.”

An internet search showed that Mudede is 74 and has been registrar-general for more than 30 years.

Q &A

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

DATE OF BIRTH FOR MR. TOBAIWA MUDEDE

HON. MAJOME asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to inform the House when the Registrar General, Mr. Tobaiwa Mudede was born and further explain if he is above 65 years and why he has not retired from the Civil Service.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare is not here.

HON. MAJOME: Hon. Madam Speaker, I think this is about the fourth time that I am raising this issue. This august House is fast turning into a circus because clearly again, the Hon. Ministers of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare as well as …

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: We are deferring it and it will be on number one again.

HON. MAJOME: Hon. Madam Speaker, I am concerned that this House is not using the powers that it has. It is almost as if we are treating the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare with kid gloves on such an important issue. Last week, there was the excuse that the Minister was new and he needed to be handed over power but his Deputy was there. The other week, the Minister who was reshuffled claimed that she was not ready for the question but her Deputy was there. Previously again, the Ministry of Home Affairs avoided this question.

Hon. Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of privilege. I have a right to receive an answer to this question. I move a motion Madam Speaker that you find the Hon. Ministers in contempt because this is a critical national issue. If this question is deferred again, it will give the very regrettable impression that the Speaker is protecting Hon. Ministers from answering questions. Surely, this House should show the utmost disgust and should not tolerate behaviour such as this. This is a serious question and it should be answered.

I think the Ministers must be held in contempt. This cannot go on. The reason why we put questions on notice is for Ministers to see them and answer them. They cannot continue playing ball with us like this. If I may ask, why the Ministers are not here today?

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I hear you Hon. Member and also go along with what you are saying. The office of the Speaker has tried to invite the Minister so that he is answerable to what is happening, but because of these changes I think some other people are taking advantage as well; but we are together, the office of the Speaker and the Hon. Members but we are going to continue trying to call the Hon. Minister to our office.

HON. MAJOME: On a point of order Madam Speaker.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?

HON. MAJOME: Hon. Madam Speaker, my point of order is that the Hon. Minister and the Deputy Minister be held in contempt of Parliament – because inviting them to your office, I believe is unwarranted. I do not see any reason why Ministers should continue to be treated with kid gloves. I am not aware and I deserve an explanation as to why both the Hon. Minister and the Deputy Minister are not here in Parliament today.  I move that they be held in contempt of Parliament ,that will be the only way that they can know that they must take their responsibility in terms of Section 108 of the Constitution Madam Speaker.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Minister who was called to our office is no longer a Minister.  Now, we have to call the one who was appointed as a Minister to come to our office so that we discuss about this issue.

 HON. MAJOME:  Hon. Speaker, the Deputy Minister is still the same Deputy Minister – [HON. J. TSHUMA: Usaite nharo.] – no ndinoita nharo, this is what I came to this Parliament for.  Hon. Speaker I am sorry I am unable to understand that, the Deputy Minister of that Ministry is still in the same Ministry.  It is a simple question, how old is the Registrar General?  Is he over the age of 65?  If he is over the age of 65 why has he not retired?  Surely Madam Speaker that is what the question says.  Surely it is a fact that can be established by anyone.  There is a whole ministry, surely the age of the Registrar General is not a matter that requires rocket science, the Deputy Minister has not been reshuffled.   By now Hon. Speaker an answer must have been written.  All the Minister needs to do is to come here and simply read the question.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Can we now close this question Hon. Majome, I have answered you.  I have tried to answer you.   We called Hon. Mupfumira to this office, but now there is a new person, we can also invite him and explain to him the problem.

HON. MAJOME:  But the rules do not say that you invite them to your office, it says a Minister who absconds can be charged with contempt of Parliament.  Why are we not doing that?

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Because there is a problem of them not attending to this question.  This is why we are calling him to the office.  I hear your complaint.

HON. MAJOME: Madam Speaker, why are we treating them with kid gloves?

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Can we proceed to question number 2.