Zanu-PF MP accuse Mudenda of favouritism

Jacob Mudenda

A ZANU-PF MP has accused National Assembly Speaker Jacob Mudenda of favouritism by giving preferred legislators more opportunities to contribute in Parliament than others.

The allegations were made by Zanu-PF MP for Nkayi South, Stars Mathe, during a virtual National Assembly session on Tuesday after Mudenda had told her that she risked losing her chance to contribute owing to connection

“Mr Speaker Sir my point of privilege is that there is something that is disturbing me, if you may indulge me. I want to make it clear before this House that we are not free to clearly put the concerns of the electorate before the House because most of the time it is about three individuals who always want to be seen on national television.

“Honestly, with seriousness – the purpose of national television is to showcase how MPs conduct the business of the House.

“Last week, if you recall, it was those three members who were continuously speaking on their own before being appointed to speak by you as the chair.

“I have taken this opportunity to put it clearly before this House the challenges that we face here. “We would also want to be given the opportunity to speak before the House. On two occasions, I have been slotted on number four to speak but have been given the opportunity well after because of these three or four members,” Mathe said.

In his response, however, Mudenda did not agree with Mathe, insisting she was one of the MPs who consistently got a chance to make contributions as evidenced by Hansard records.

“If you look at the Hansard, you will realise that you always contribute to Points of Privileges weekly. Secondly, that you are number six or seven, please approach your chief whip so that you are at number one because we work according to the list that is provided by the chief whips – that is not the Speaker’s challenge.

May you kindly liaise with your chief whip so that you are placed on number one,” Mudenda said. Before the National Assembly seats, chief whips from the two parties in Parliament give the Speaker a list of MPs who will contribute first from their respective parties.

Mudenda also explained that some MPs appear to get more chances than others because the questions they would have  raised may require follow-ups.

“You agreed that there are three supplementary questions in line with the Standing Orders and a Member is allowed to pose one supplementary question.

“When a member comes up with a new question after having posed a supplementary question, it is permissible, according to our Standing Orders.”

Source – dailynews