ERRANT legislators risk being barred from Parliament and allowances withdrawn for a specific period when stringent standing rules and orders being crafted come into effect.
Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda yesterday said Parliament was reviewing the standing rules and orders to make them strict.
He made the remarks yesterday after the presentation of National Assembly and Senate presiding officers to President Mnangagwa.
MDC-Alliance parliamentarians exhibited rowdy behaviour and disrespected President Mnangagwa just before the presentation of the 2019 Budget by Finance and Economic Development Minister Prof Mthuli Ncube last week.
“We are reviewing our standing rules and orders to make them very stringent so that in future that type of behaviour (is dealt with),” Adv Mudenda said.
“We will invoke very strong censure as what our colleagues have done in Zambia and we shall follow suit and make sure that the standing rules and orders are very tight as far as the expected behaviour of the honourable members.”
Adv Mudenda said a similar model like the one adopted in Zambia was on the cards in Zimbabwe.
“In Zambia, they have revised their standing rules and orders. For example, when after the elections in 2016 members of the opposition walked out on the President just before he would give his State of the Nation Address, using the revised standing rules and orders the Speaker of the National Assembly in Zambia censured the opposition members by indicating that they would not attend Parliament and would lose their salary for a month.”
During last week’s chaos, opposition legislators refused to acknowledge the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces before Adv Mudenda ordered them to leave the House.
The legislators refused despite efforts by Sergeant-at-Arms Mr Nicholas Marufu to escort them out and were later ejected by the police called in to restore order.
Adv Mudenda said discipline will be maintained in Parliament.
“We need to respect the electorate that has brought us into Parliament and therefore we cannot afford to be involved in undisciplined manners which may detract us from our main constitutional mandate of representation oversight and carrying out the legislative agenda.
Senate President Cde Mabel Chinomona weighed in: “In my House, since people are mature they don’t act like what is happening in the National Assembly, but to me I feel people should act honourably so that people see them as honourable members.
“What we do is the only way we show the country that we are doing things which are supposed to be done by mature people. In the Senate I am safe I have seen members acting nicely and honourably.”