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Speaker of the National Assembly Aocate Jacob Mudenda last week urged legislators to continuously improve their academic qualifications so that they can carry out their responsibilities effectively.A Mudenda said this at the official launch of the Parliament of Zimbabwe Institutional Strategic Plan, Multi-Donor Support Programme for Parliament and the Office of the Auditor General of Zimbabwe and the Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust’s Promoting Public Involvement in Parliamentary Business Project.

He said the implementation of the three programmes required parliamentarians to be knowledgeable.

“A strategic plan whose drivers may not know how to drive it may not score the goal. That is why I have adopted as a personal goal that every parliamentarian must go back to school.

“If you have a diploma go for a degree, if you a have a first degree go for a masters’ degree, if you have a masters’ degree go for a doctorate and then post doctorate studies” he said.

“We should do this so that we are imbued with knowledge to shoulder the responsibilities of our plan. It is a beauty to grow intellectually and professionally.”

Parliament has entered into agreements with various tertiary institutions in the country as a way of building capacity among legislators.

A Mudenda said the Multi-Donor Parliamentary Support Programme would support areas identified in the Parliament of Zimbabwe Institutional Strategic Plan 2014-2018.

“These strategic areas of cooperation were independently identified by parliament and this should dispel that they are being imposed by our development partners. Regarding funding the Parliamentary Support Programme, we agreed to focus on nine out of 16 priorities provided in the Institutional Strategic Plan,” he said.

The areas include strategy development, monitoring and evaluation, resource mobilisation, resourced and institutionalised committee system, human capital developmentcapacity building, enhanced accountability in management of public resources and services, enhanced visibility, e-Parliament and specialist technical support.

A Mudenda said the support was expected to strengthen Parliament’s oversight role, increase people’s participation in Parliament’s activities and strengthen gender main-streaming among others.

Speaking at the ceremony, European Union ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Philippe Van Damme, said their support would strengthen the oversight role of Parliament.

“The Multi-Donor Support Programme that will be implemented by UNDP with the Parliament of Zimbabwe and to which the EU contributed 1,8 million Euros, will primarily focus on legislative and oversight roles of parliament, while the role of parliament as the representative of the people of Zimbabwe will mainly be supported by a 500 000 Euros support programme to be implemented by the SAPST,” Ambassador Van Damme said.

Source : The Herald