Parly openning postponed

HARARE - Zimbabwe has postponed the official opening of its eighth Parliament to next month due to a clashing national calendar.

Clerk of Parliament, Austin Zvoma said his office found it impractical for the official opening to be held on Tuesday as announced earlier due to competing national commitments that could not be shifted.

“We initially thought the opening could be held this Tuesday, but as it is, there will be the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly, the official opening of the Harare Agricultural Show and the burials of two national heroes. In light of these events, it will not make sense for Parliament to be officially opened this Tuesday,” Zvoma said.

He said the swearing in of newly-elected parliamentarians would be followed by presiding officers taking their oath of office, namely national assembly speaker, and the deputy, senate president and the deputy.
In light of speculation that the MDC will boycott the opening, Zvoma said Parliament will be fully functional without them.

“No member will take part in the parliamentary proceedings without taking the oath, members are compelled to observe the law as stated in the Constitution,” the parliamentary clerk said.

He said 25 members was the minimum number required for Parliament to conduct business according to its current standing orders.

“As long as there are 25 members in the House, life will go on,” Zvoma said.

He warned that members who missed Parliament seatings for 21 consecutive days would face expulsion if a two thirds majority in the house voted for their removal.

“The date of the official opening of the first session of the eighth Parliament must not be later than 30 days after the President-elect assumes office,” he said.

The clerk of Parliament also cautioned elected members to resign from their current jobs, because failure to do so within 30 days of election will lead to their membership being revoked and the seat declared vacant.

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