Home » Governance » The Honeymoon Is Over [opinion]

Imagine Joice Mujuru standing up in the National Assembly during Question time to ask about Government policies. How about Didymus Mutasa and Nicholas Goche doing the same as backbenchers?These are indeed interesting times as it will be the first time since Independence that Mujuru and Mutasa are becoming backbenchers.

Before falling from grace, Mujuru had risen to stardom when she was appointed the youngest Cabinet minister at 25 years of age in charge of the Ministry of Sports, Youths and Recreation in 1980.

She was to later serve as minister in several portfolios before reaching her pinnacle in 2004 when she was appointed Vice President to fill in the vacant post in the wake of the demise of Dr Simon Muzenda.

On the other hand, Mutasa started as Speaker of Parliament at Independence until 1990 before being appointed Minister in several ministries.

As such, events that have been happening in the revolutionary party are very instructive as they ably show that the 51-year-old community of liberators is able to rejuvenate itself and respond to threats from within and without.

One would definitely be forgiven for not having one of the wildest imaginations of seeing Mujuru out of the executive, especially at a time when it appeared like she was on course to landing the apex of the country’s leadership given the vote manipulation that has been going on since she became Zimbabwe’s number two.

Mr Speaker Sir, there are MPs who are beneficiaries of that manipulation — a subject that was dealt with by the previous installment.

Amai Mujuru vakamhanyira kumedza kutsenga vachada and President Mugabe handed her the bill for her profligacy by axing her together with her cabal on Tuesday.

They have lost the glitter and glamour and maybe never to rise again.

They are unlikely to be missed by their fellow parliamentarians on the executive desk because of the way they went about their business, especially during Wednesdays’ Question Time.

Mujuru would rarely attend question time, questions directed to Mutasa on the order paper would be struck off due to no reply while Webster Shamu would always dodge question time only to show face after the slot.

MPs complained, Parliament’s presiding officers cautioned ministers but those comrades cared less.

Then leader of the House and Zanu-PF second secretary and Vice President, Emmerson Mnangagwa would always reprimand ministers for disregarding Parliament, but they did not heed his call.

Mr Speaker Sir, you will remember in one of my pieces decrying the lack of vibrancy and the accompanying ill of truancy by ministers when it came to question-and-answer sessions.

Poor Dzikamai Mavhaire did not take heed and made it appear as if it was business as usual at a time Zimbabweans were missing the Fifa Soccer World Cup in Brazil due to load-shedding, winter wheat farmers hesitant to plant in the face of uncertainty on power supply while industries could not turn their engines.

Mavhaire appeared unmoved to the extent that he answered a very important question from Nelson Chamisa in the National Assembly in a very jocular fashion when he said constructing a power generation plant was not as easy as cooking sadza.

Whatever context he was saying that, only he could answer.

Many, took for granted that once an appointment had been made, it was sleep through the five-year period and be seen to be doing something at the end of the term to allow for re-appointment.

The only reality that has come now is that, the game is over for those with sleeping sickness.

It’s a different ball game altogether.

The honeymoon is now over.

It is time to deliver.

The President has really been watching.

He is a careful man and after all has the eyes to see and ears to hear.

You will also recall, Mr Speaker Sir, this column decrying the failure by Zanu-PF members to sponsor meaningful bills in the House.

The reshuffle and dismissal of many ministers should signal to the august House that failure to deliver comes with harsh reprimand from the powers that be and the electorate at large.

MPs are elected by the people so that they represent them and the President appoints some of them as ministers so that they deliver on Government’s mandate including providing answers to questions from the electorate through their representatives.

The nagging feeling is that some comrades thought by being appointed ministers they were no longer accountable to the electorate besides bringing the name of the Government into disrepute.

The face of this new Cabinet and the subsequent shaken House should present an interesting platform for debate and representation.

Times have really changed, the resolutions made at the Congress need a follow on as it were to allow for meaningful representation.

It is important that those who will be appointed to the executive to replace the ousted comrades take Parliament seriously because it presents a platform of interaction between the electorate and the executive.

MPs cannot fully represent the electorate when the executive is uncooperative, so it is important that ministers play ball.

President Mugabe does not appoint ministers so that they can just drive in flashy cars or get executive treatment at functions.

They must be able to spell out their ministries’ mandate and what they are doing to address some of the challenges facing their sector.

If one feels they are incompetent then they would decline the appointment than waste the country’s funds on a dead resource.

Source : The Herald