Mudzuri says Mnangagwa should talk to his ministers not attending Senate





Opposition legislator and former Harare mayor Elias Mudzuri yesterday said President Emmerson Mnangagwa should talk to his ministers to take the Senate seriously because he had never seen Local Government Minister July Moyo and Lands and Agriculture Minister Anxious Masuka in the Senate.

He said this after the acting president of the Senate Chief Ngunmgumbane read a long list of ministers who were not able to attend yesterday’s sitting with only Transport Minister Felix Mhona in the upper House.

Thursday is question time in the Senate.

The issue was first raised by Morgen Komichi who complained that the ministers’ absence was a betrayal of the people that they represented because the minister and his or her deputy could not be both absent.
“This is betrayal of the people’s expectations. This is making this House useless and when people are shouting at us back home, they are correct. We are failing to represent them because we are being undercut by the absence of the Ministers,” Komich said.

Mudzuri asked whether there was something going on in the country that had taken away all the ministers?

“I just want the answer on record if there is something happening in the country that has taken all these people away.  It is time for people to go for the Christmas holidays but there are so many questions we want to ask,” he said.

“There are also many ministers who have never been in this House and we want to take stock.  I can mention those who have never been in the House.  I have not seen the Minister of Local Government or Minister of Agriculture.  If they were appointed and the President is serious, he must talk to these people so that at least they come to this Upper House so we can discuss serious business on what is happening in the country.”

Full contributions:

HON. SEN. KOMICHI: I would like to complement you Mr. President. This is one of the evidence why people outside shout at us as Hon. Members of Parliament. The people that we represent sent us to Parliament to represent them on their issues. Today being a Thursday is one of the most important days that we as Members of Parliament should be able to express what our people are saying back home but when we look at the bench, it is almost empty. Thank you to the few Ministers that have come but the majority betrayed us. Whilst we appreciate that they have sent apologies, we do not appreciate their absence because they cannot be absent, both the substantive Minister and the deputy. This is betrayal of the people’s expectations. This is making this House useless and when people are shouting at us back home, they are correct. We are failing to represent them because we are being undercut by the absence of the Ministers. It had improved a few months ago but it has started again. This is a wrong thing and it must not happen. People expect us to do the job. They expect us to represent them. Who then do we talk to, if the Ministers are not able to come? This is a serious offence and the Ministers are betraying us.  Thank you Hon. President.

THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Thank you Hon. Sen. Komichi.  I think as this august House, we agree with you that the Senate is the other part of Parliament that Ministers should take seriously.  Chief Whip, can you please convey this message to the Leader of the House that Senators are not happy.  This is the start of a new session and we should start with new beginnings and not with old beginnings where absenteeism of Cabinet Ministers was the order of the day.  Please convey our message as Senators.  Thank you.

HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI:  Thank you Hon. President.  I just want to appreciate you for taking over the Chair.  I wonder who is going to be the leader of the House today because I am looking at a  situation where Ministers have not come, and the whole leadership of the Speaker’s Panel is absent.  Is there something going on in the country that has made all these people be away?  I just want the answer on record if there is something happening in the country that has taken all these people away.  It is time for people to go for the Christmas holidays but there are so many questions we want to ask.  There are also many Ministers who have never been in this House and we want to take stock.  I can mention those who have never been in the House.  I have not seen the Minister of Local Government or Minister of Agriculture.  If they were appointed and the President is serious, he must talk to these people so that at least they come to this Upper House so we can discuss serious business on what is happening in the country.  I thank you.

THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Thank you Hon. Sen. Mudzuri.  We take note of your concerns and those concerns, I direct to the Government Chief Whip. I think next week, in all fairness we should see an improvement in terms of attendance. I thank you.

Source: InsiderZim




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