Moyo attacks Executive

VICTORIA FALLS - Speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo has launched a scathing attack on the Executive for disregarding power invested in the August house by continuously overriding its decisions.

Officially opening the Parliament pre-budget seminar co-hosted by Parliament and Treasury yesterday, Moyo said Zimbabwe is one of the few countries where Parliament is used merely to rubberstamp the executive’s decisions.

“To be blunt and brief, our perennial complaint as the legislature since the commencement of the first session of the seventh Parliament has always had to do with the attitude of the Executive towards the legislature and the treatment extended to it,” he said.

This unhealthy attitude, Moyo said, is best demonstrated by the manner in which the ministry of Finance deals with Parliament in its day-to-day operations.

“Indeed, Zimbabwe must be one of the few countries in the world where one of the three arms of the state is treated, for operational purposes, as an ordinary government ministry or department and where junior ministry officials are free to accept and dismiss without hesitation the legitimate requirements of an arm of the state,” he said.

Moyo said it comes as no surprise therefore when people hear statements by President Robert Mugabe, which seem to suggest that Parliament is subordinate to or is an extension of the executive. “It must be known that the seventh Parliament of the Republic of Zimbabwe was constitutionally elected and is made up of democratically elected members of Parliament and it was not created by the Global Political Agreement,” he said.

“Instead, the inclusive government owes its existence and relevance to the same Parliament which today is seriously being undermined by the executive.

Parliament has always supported inclusive government programmes and activities and will continue to do so even though at times the inclusive government renders Parliament a mere rubber stamping forum.” Moyo urged the MPs to unite in their cause despite their political affiliation.

“What we need to all recognise is that although the Executive may hold many levers of power, the manner in which it discharges power should be such that it builds public confidence in all arms of state as separate and important institutions,” he said.

The Executive sets unbalanced conditions of service, Moyo said.

For example, to date the presiding officers of Parliament are yet to receive all of the conditions of service in full yet their counterparts in the Executive received theirs a long time ago, he said.

“It has also taken us a long time to get approval of sitting allowance rates for MPs from the Executive, and again to date the MPs are yet to be paid their dues in full,” he said.

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