Shame, Shame on Zimbabwe govt ministers – Mudenda




Jacob Mudenda

Zimbabwe’s Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Mudenda, has blasted government ministers for not fully understanding their role and disrespecting Parliament, the President and themselves.

Responding to a point raised by independent legislator Temba Mliswa in Parliament yesterday that none of the government ministers had responded to issues raised during the debate on President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s State of the Nation Address, Mudenda said he was very disappointed.

“Only the other day, I called upon the Leader of Government Business and the Chief Whip to ensure that the Hon. Ministers respect first and foremost the nation to whom the address on the State of the Nation by His Excellency the President and Head of Government, who is also part of the legislature,”Mudenda said.

“The Hon. Ministers have been hesitant to respond and very wrongly so.  This is a sign of disrespect to this House, to the Head of State and Government and is a sign also of disrespect for themselves, because they do not understand the constitutional provision in Section 107 (2) of the Constitution which peremptorily demands that every Vice President, Minister and Deputy Minister must attend Parliament and respond to questions concerning matters for which he or she is collectively or individually responsible.

“It cannot be clearer than that and I am hoping that the Leader of Government Business Hon. Ziyambi and Hon. Togarepi Chief Whip will prevail on these Hon. Ministers.  In the Eighth Parliament, only two Hon. Ministers responded and that was the Leader of Government Business, Hon. Ziyambi and the young upcoming Hon. Mangaliso Ndlovu.  Those were the only two in the Eighth Parliament.

“It was a shame and it is still a shame.  I hope I will not pronounce it will be a shame in this Ninth Parliament that the Hon. Ministers do not take their Constitutional responsibilities exceptionally and religiously so.  I hope there will be a change this time.”

Full contribution:

HON. T. MLISWA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, my point of national interest is really from the State of the Nation Address by His Excellency.  I have observed unless I am wrong, I stand guided by you, the ministers have not responded.  I tried to follow it up again last year, there was no response and if I am not mistaken, probably one or two responded. To date, there has been no response on the State of the Nation Address, which is very important in aligning the vision of this country through His Excellency.  If ministers do not respond to that, what else are they doing in the offices?  We debate on it – there must be a response to the State of the Nation Address.

It is actually a mandate for them to respond to that because the principal would have given the vision and the debate would have been there.  What is the response?  So it is something that has been a bad culture on the ministers once again.  It is evident that they do not understand the function of this House and I think it is important that you also take them for another workshop that the State of the Nation Address is something that must be responded to.  I stand guided by you but I have not heard any minister responding to that Mr. Speaker Sir.  I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you very much.  It is a very key observation Hon. Mliswa, I have been very disappointed.  Only the other day, I called upon the Leader of Government Business and the Chief Whip to ensure that the Hon. Ministers respect first and foremost the nation to whom the address on the State of the Nation by His Excellency the President and Head of Government, who is also part of the legislature.  The Hon. Ministers have been hesitant to respond and very wrongly so.  This is a sign of disrespect to this House, to the Head of State and Government and is a sign also of disrespect for themselves, because they do not understand the constitutional provision in Section 107 (2) of the Constitution which peremptorily demands that every Vice President, Minister and Deputy Minister must attend Parliament and respond to questions concerning matters for which he or she is collectively or individually responsible. It cannot be clearer than that and I am hoping that the Leader of Government Business Hon. Ziyambi and Hon. Togarepi Chief Whip will prevail on these Hon. Ministers.  In the Eighth Parliament, only two Hon. Ministers responded and that was the Leader of Government Business, Hon. Ziyambi and the young upcoming Hon. Mangaliso Ndlovu.  Those were the only two in the Eighth Parliament.  It was a shame and it is still a shame.  I hope I will not pronounce it will be a shame in this Ninth Parliament that the Hon. Ministers do not take their Constitutional responsibilities exceptionally and religiously so.  I hope there will be a change this time.

Source: The Insider