Parliament, Zanu-PF agree deal on ministers

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa and the Speaker of Parliament, Advocate Jacob Mudenda have agreed that Zanu-PF programmes and meetings must not clash with Parliamentary business.

Apologising for the absence of Ministers from Parliament as they were attending a Politburo meeting yesterday, Adv Mudenda said an understanding had been reached with the President that party business must not interfere with Parliament business.

The Speaker said this after MDC-T Chief whip Innocent Gonese had raised concern over the absence of ministers.

“While I was putting on my gown I followed a point of privilege raised by honourable Gonese concerning the attendance by honourable ministers. I want to put the record straight that the meeting being attended by some Cabinet Ministers, was planned on the understanding that Parliament was only going to sit next week.

“We were not supposed to come this week. Secondly it was agreed after my conversation with his Excellency that because a number of ministries don’t have deputy ministers, in future plans would be made that there is no clash in terms of dates for Wednesday session. That’s what I thought I should clarify,” said Adv Mudenda.

Soon after the announcement, Kuwadzana MP Advocate Nelson Chamisa (MDC-T) commended Adv Mudenda for taking the initiative to ensure Parliamentary business is respected.

“It’s not good to fail to acknowledge good things when they are done by good people. You have done a very responsible thing Honourable Speaker to make an appropriate apology to Parliament and to indicate that these were circumstances beyond your control,” said Adv Chamisa.

We want to acknowledge this as Parliament and more importantly we want to thank you for leaving Politburo to come here and preside over this Parliament. It’s very important. The reason why I’m doing that is because we always attack when there is an omission and a commission,” he said.

In the past when attending party meetings, Zanu- PF Politburo members would leave deputy ministers to take care of business in Parliament but now with a leaner cabinet that was constituted by President Mnangagwa, it has become difficult for Parliament to go ahead with the question and answer session without Ministers.

Yesterday Parliament business went on as usual with the leader of Government business who is also the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Cde Ziyambi Ziyambi, the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, July Moyo, the Minister of Mines and Mining Development Mr Winston Chitando, the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Professor Paul Mavima and deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development Cde Terrence Mukupe fielding questions.—