Movement for Democratic Change vice-president Nelson Chamisa yesterday urged President Emmerson Mnangagwa to announce a date by which he will have appointed his cabinet because some people, especially from his Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, were not sleeping.
He cited a section of the constitution which said the people had the right to know information held by the State so Mnangagwa had to give an indication when he will appoint his new team.
“We are not saying we want him to appoint today or now, but there has to be a modicum and semblance of predictability and knowledge and information on the part of Members of Parliament, to say that there is going to be an appointment of Cabinet by such and such a time,” Chamisa told Parliament.
“I know that some of the members, particularly those who are expecting to be members of Cabinet from the other side are not sleeping. I can assure your Hon. Speaker Maam, I know that.
“I know that some are sleeping with one eye open, some are jumping fires in the bundu there without clothing – trying to make it possible for them in terms of enhancement of their chances but that is their own effort.”
Chief Secretary to the President ad Cabinet Misheck Sibanda told the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation on Tuesday that Mnangagwa would announce his cabinet in two or three days.
Mnangagwa has only appointed two acting ministers Patrick Chinamasa and Simbarashe Mumbengegwi to run finance and foreign affairs.
HON. ADV.CHAMISA: Madam Speaker, I wish to draw your attention to Section 62 of the Constitution of the Republic of Zimbabwe in particular (1). Are you there Madam Speaker because I want to walk with you. It reads as follows:-
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member, you keep on talking and you are not even looking at the section which is being mentioned.
HON. ADV. CHAMISA: Thank you Madam Speaker. “Every Zimbabwean citizen or permanent resident including juristic persons in the Zimbabwean media has the right of access to any information held by the State of by any institution or agency of Government at every level in so far as information is required in the interest of public accountability. I draw your attention to this clause on behalf of other Members of Parliament in the context of the appointment of Cabinet.
There has not been an official position from the Government and President of when this Cabinet is going to be announced. This is running contrary to the interest of public accountability. We are not saying we want him to appoint today or now, but there has to be a modicum and semblance of predictability and knowledge and information on the part of Members of Parliament, to say that there is going to be an appointment of Cabinet by such and such a time. I know that some of the members, particularly those who are expecting to be members of Cabinet from the other side are not sleeping – [Laughter] – I can assure your Hon. Speaker Maam, I know that – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order.
HON. ADV. CHAMISA: I know that some are sleeping with one eye open, some are jumping fires in the bundu there – [Laughter] – without clothing – trying to make it possible for them in terms of enhancement of their chances but that is their own effort. The key point is the constitutional infraction in terms of access and availability of information. My point is that is it not possible of us as Parliament, to send a message to the Government in line with the Constitution – that may we be availed with when the Cabinet is going to be announced, possibly the dates and hours, but there has to be a timeframe within which Parliament is going to be given who is who in the Cabinet.
This is so, because it is a requirement of the Constitution. This is information within the State and information by the Government because right now we have come and it is most likely that we are going to postpone this session because without Ministers there is no way we are going to obviously continue going to continue with this programme. So yes, there has to be clarity, I know that some may want to differ with this but this is a very clear position, it is a provision of the Constitution and clarity has to come from Government. My plea which is the plea of Members of Parliament, is that let there be clarity in terms of when Government is going to be constituted for purpose of planning within the corridors of Parliament. I thank you Hon. Speaker.
Hon. Samukange having stood up [HON. MEMBERS: Gara pasi, she wants to make a ruling] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Samukange.
HON. SAMUKANGE: I want to make a submission but you must hear me as well…
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Samukange – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –
HON. SAMUKANGE: She is about to make a wrong ruling.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Can we have order Hon. Members. Hon. Samukange, I think you wanted to help the Chair but I think that questions was referred to the Chair, I have to answer. If you have your own point of order I will give you a chance to do that.
Hon. Adv. Chamisa, your point of order is noted. I think it is very important but, I think after you have said so and since we were expecting Ministers in the House, your message or the message from Parliament will be sent to the President so that we will be in a position to get a proper announcement of whatever is taking place. Thank you very much.