'Parly has no seating capacity'

HARARE - Legislators voted into the expanded 8th Zimbabwe Parliament will not fit into the Harare house — built 92 years ago.

Austin Zvoma, the Clerk of Parliament, told a news conference yesterday that Parliament could not accommodate the 356 members.

With the country’s legislature having been expanded from 210 to 356 members under the new Constitution, there is no seating capacity for the bicameral house, the long-serving clerk warned.

Zvoma bemoaned the lack of spacious parliamentary chambers to accommodate lawmakers drawn largely from President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF, which won a two-thirds legislative majority in the July 31 vote.

“We are going to have a Parliament made up of 356 MPs comprising of 80 Senators and 276 members of the National Assembly,” Zvoma told reporters.

“The problem we are going to have is going to be in the National Assembly which can only accommodate 150 MPs. So it means some of them have to be standing in the passage or seat in the gallery during the sessions.”

He said although the administrative arm of Parliament is ready to handle the 8th parliamentary sitting, it was having challenges due to lack of space.

Zvoma said they were looking forward to the building of a new parliament site in Mt Hampden to ease the accommodation crisis that was due to haunt legislators. 

He said his office was ready for the swearing-in of the lawmakers and was waiting for the official opening of the 8th Parliament by the president to start the induction course for the MPs.

“When Parliament resumes seating, the MPs are going to elect the president of Parliament and the deputy and the Speaker of Parliament and his deputy, who will be elected through the secret ballot in elections to be supervised by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec). We are in touch with Zec over the matter,” said Zvoma.

He said the parliamentary presiding officers will be sworn-in by the Chief Justice. Zvoma said his office was liaising with the Constitutional Court over the matter.

Comments (6)

I want to Laugh Out Loud ! ! ! If Parly has no seating capacity why not hire extra chairs from Rooneys? Simples ! ! !

Skellem - 20 August 2013

Zvoma, inoisa vanaChinotimba kugallery. Wati ken dey siriyasiri condribhuti. Seka zvako muzimbo, nyika yenyama yeusinambwa shuwa!

Mhofu - 20 August 2013

Extend the building. Currently those who don't contribute in a meeting should stand and late comers.

Mhiripiri - 20 August 2013

I would also laugh out loud, if it wasn't so tragic! 80 mostly useless Senators and 276 even more mostly useless un-National Assemleymen. The Parliament is old and decrepit at 92, like the President who rules over it - same age and both should be torn down!

Chivula Mapoti - 20 August 2013

No need to hire extra chairs from Rooneys, bring rukukwe for people like Chinotimba to sit on the floor and also rukukwes for late comers. Yangayakaipei ! ! ! There is a lot of floor to sit on in Parliament, never mind about extra chairs.

Jacko Zuma - 20 August 2013

Do we really need a senate and all these MPs considering the siz of our country and budget? Wait and see what sort of cabinet we will have ...yet another 5 years of circus.

habari - 21 August 2013

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.