MPs must educate public on Bills: Khupe

Thokozani Khupe

MDC-T vice-president and leader of the opposition in Parliament, Thokozani Khupe, has bemoaned the public’s lack of knowledge about handling of public hearings on Bills.


Speaking at the Public Entities Corporate Governance Bill, 2017, in Bulawayo last week Khupe said participants had no knowledge of the gazetted Bill, which made it difficult for parliamentarians to compile consolidated views in the formulation of the Bill.

“We have noticed a lot as MPs, that if we are going to the public hearings, in most cases, people won’t have a clue of what the Bill is all about. We have been aware of it and we have talked about it many times that if the Bills are gazetted, MPs should take the Bills to their constituencies and explain to the people that such a Bill has been gazetted and this Bill is about this and that,” she said.

“This will become easy for us when we hold public hearings, participants will have an idea of what the bill entails. But as it is, they do not talk about the Bill, but their problems.”

David Chapfika, chairman and co-ordinator of the meeting said while they gave participants a summary of the Bill, some people come to the meetings pregnant with their own views.

“So you can’t really stop them to avoid frustration, we allow them to vent their frustration. We are their MPs and we represent them. It is our duty to listen to their issues which are not relevant to the Bill before us. We then make recommendations to the respective committees and ministries, so that we bring them to the attention to those ministries,” he said.

During the debate war veteran, Thomson Ndlovu, said the public entities should be privatised as they are a financial burden to the government.

“The 93 companies we have here are not performing well. Their performance shows us that they must be privatised because they are a burden to the fiscus and the government. We cannot pay taxes and feed companies which are not performing. It will make sense to say privatise these companies, so that the government will proceed with what they are doing because if we take a look at these parastatals, there is not even one which we can say they are performing well. They are collapsing.

“Zupco has no direction, Air Zimbabwe has no direction, actually all the 93 are not performing well,” he said.

Zapu spokesperson, Iphithule Maphosa said the public gatherings have not yielded any positive results and that government should get rid of all pretenders.

“I see we continue playing and come here gather, we talk and nothing positive will happen as long as we have pretenders in the government. So these companies have been collapsing yet we were having managers that were appointed by the government, but they are collapsing everything simple because we do not have a proper way of following the Constitution. The only solution is to get rid of the pretenders in government, they should all go and the MPs you should pull up your socks or else we will get rid of you as well,” he said. – NewsDay

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