Parliamentary Round Up: Bulletin No. 8 – 2019

Week ending 8 February

The National Assembly sat this week and Members of Parliament resumed debate on the Presidential Speech that was delivered by President Emmerson Mnangagwa when he officially opened Parliament last year.

Hon. Themba Mliswa (Norton Independent) yesterday stepped down as the Chairperson of the Mines Portfolio Committee to pave way for investigations in a case whereby he and three other Members of the Committee allegedly solicited a USD400 000 bribe from businessman James Goddard so that they could facilitate him to secure a contract with Hwange Colliery Company. Other MPs implicated are Hon. Anele Ndebele (MDC-A Magwegwe), Hon. Prince Dubeko Sibanda (MDC-A Binga North), and Hon. Leonard Chikomba (Zanu PF Gokwe Kabuyuni). This was after Hon. Misheck Mataranyika (Zanu PF Makoni South) moved a motion of privilege in response to the alleged bribery reports. The Speaker of National Assembly Hon. Advocate Jacob Mudenda therefore ruled that a parliamentary probe team will be set up to look into allegations.

The Speaker also announced the following changes to the portfolio committees.

  • Hon. Dexter Nduna (ZANU PF Chegutu West) replaced Hon. Daniel Garwe (ZANU PF Murehwa North) as Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development
  • Hon. Marian Chombo (ZANU PF Zvimba North) will serve in the Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education
  • Hon. Ephraim Gwanongodza (ZANU PF Chivi Central) has moved from the Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development to the Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works and National Housing;
  • Hon. Ruth Maboyi (ZANU PF Beithbridge West) and Hon. Felix Mhona (ZANU PF Chikomba Central) will join the Public Accounts Committee;
  • Hon. Tendai Nyabani (ZANU PF Rushinga) will serve in the Portfolio Committee on Information, Media and Broadcasting Services; and
  • Hon. Nyabote will serve in the Portfolio Committees of Primary and Secondary Education, and Energy and Power Development

Advocate Mudenda also announced that on 9 January, 2018, the House received a petition from the Society for Pre and Post Natal Services, on the need for the Ministry of Health and Child Care to implement a National Health Service. He indicated that the petition was referred to the Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care. Parliament also received a petition from the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) retrenchees, beseeching Parliament to consider their dispute case with ZBC which is in the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court is yet to make a determination. The petition was deemed inadmissible and the petitioners were notified accordingly, the reason being that when a matter is before the courts, it cannot be entertained by Parliament.

In an unrelated matter, Hon. Obedingwa Mguni (ZANU PF Mangwe) moved a motion on the transformation of the SADC PF into a Regional Parliament. He called on the Executive to:

(a) submit, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, an affirmative statement pledging Zimbabwe’s support for the transformation of the SADC PF into a Regional Parliament;

(b) lend its support to the development of a constitutive protocol for the SADC Regional Parliament which will clearly outline its roles, functions and terms of reference and ensure that it does not undermine Member Parliaments’ or Member States’ sovereignty; and

(c) push for the establishment of formal linkages between the Summit and SADC PF which guarantee that the Forum plays a coordinate and complementary role to the Summit. He urged the Summit of Heads of State and Government to discuss the matter with an open mind noting that the proposed Parliament will work under the direction of Summit.

The House adjourned at Nine Minutes to Four o’clock p.m. on Thursday and will meet on Tuesday, 12 February, 2019.

Source: Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust (SAPST)