HARARE, April 10 State-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) has started live coverage of the National Assembly during the Question and Answer session on its television channel, a development which has livened up proceedings in the House.

The ZBC TV coverage which began Wednesday followed commencement of live radio coverage by ZBC’s SFM last month. Previously, live TV coverage of Parliamentary proceedings was only provided during the National Budget statements and when Parliament was officially opened.

There had been growing calls from MPs and the public for proceedings in Parliament to be aired live on radio and television so that people could understand its procedures. Zimbabweans were also calling for the move so that the electorate could monitor the performance of their representatives in Parliament.

Announcing the development, Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda welcomed the development.
“I am pleased to inform the House that ZTV has resumed live broadcasting of Question Time sessions in the National Assembly every Wednesday,” he said.

“It is our hope that ZTV will be able to extend live coverage for other proceedings of Parliament. This could certainly enhance the legislative representative and oversight functions of Parliament as well as meet Constitutional requirements of an open and accessible Parliament.”

The legislators responded to the development quite well, judging by the large numbers of MPs who were jostling to be given a chance to questions Cabinet Ministers.

Leader of the House and Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Emerson Mnangagwa had to request the Speaker to extend the time allotted for questions without notice by 15 minutes.

The MP for Kuwadzana East, Nelson Chamisa, who last month moved a motion calling for the establishment of a dedicated TV channel for live coverage of Parliamentary proceedings, hailed the development.