Home » Governance » Chief Whips Speak On Parly Session

The First Session of the Eighth Parliament failed to effectively carry out its mandate of enacting laws after Government failed to bring Bills for debate, while the lack of resources negatively impacted on the performance of the Legislature. This was said by Zanu-PF Chief Whip Cde Joram Gumbo and his MDC-T counterpart Mr Innocent Gonese in separate interviews yesterday.

“We did not get Government business which should come from Cabinet and MPs ended up discussing issues that were of interest to them.

“There was work on the Electoral Act, the National Prosecuting Authority Act but it was not much to be talked about.

“Parliament’s job is to make laws and if we do not get Bills coming from Government then we end up with very little do,” Cde Gumbo said. He added that with the coming of the new Constitution last year parliamentarians expected to debate a lot of Bills to re-align laws with the new supreme law of the land.

Cde Gumbo also bemoaned the meagre resources allocated to parliament, saying this compromised their work.

“Lack of resources hindered the work of parliament. We ended up with a long session, which spilt into September instead of August as is the norm, because there was business we had to complete including the presentation of the Mid-Term Fiscal Policy review,” he said. The Zanu-PF Chief Whip said he expected the Second Session to be vibrant with Government bringing in more Bills for debate to the House.

Mr Gonese also bemoaned the little Government business in the House and also rapped some ministers who failed to respond to issues raised by legislators.

“The session was characterised by very few Bills being brought to the House.

“We expected more laws to be passed, especially after the President mentioned a number of Bills during the official opening ceremony last year.

“We were also not happy with the non-attendance of ministers to the business of the House that even resulted in the Speaker (Cde Jacob Mudenda) issuing a warning. While MPs did their part in presenting motions and questions, most of them remained on the Order Paper because ministers did not respond to them,” Mr Gonese said.

“It is not proper for MPs to subsidise Parliament so they should be funded adequately so that we don’t have a situation where some resorted to borrowing to carry out their work,” Mr Gonese said.

The First Session ended last Thursday and Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa has since invited President Mugabe to officially open the Second Session at a date to be announced.

Source : The Herald