Opposition MPs have role to play in Parly

HARARE - Zimbabwe's 8th Parliament will set off with the swearing in of new members of both the National
Assembly and Senators tomorrow.

This is a key moment for Zimbabwe which had gained considerable strides in the democratisation agenda which showed a vibrant multi-party democracy system.

Days of one-party State, a leaf borrowed from the socialist movements who supported Zanu PF during the liberation struggle, had long been checked by the multiplicity of opposition political parties.

While there is still multi-party democracy, there is a change in Parliament which will be dominated by Zanu PF for the next five years.

Zanu PF has a two thirds majority which gives it a carte blanche in promulgating laws that might not necessarily be viewed as people-centred by civic and pro-democracy groups.

This is why it is important for t new legislators from the mainstream MDC to understand the task that lies ahead of them.

They have a constituency and it is an expectant one — clearly living no room for mindless party brinkmanship. While it is a fact that the opposition has been reduced in numbers, it can still do more.

MDC legislators can be used profitably.

They will be in parliamentary committees in terms of the proportionate numbers; they must be allowed to raise motions even to push proposal for Private Members bills.

It has been proved elsewhere that being in the opposition and not commanding the majority does not necessarily mean Parliament cannot be run effectively.

In South Africa, opposition parties such as the Democratic Alliance, while not commanding the
majority in Parliament, have been very effective.

Parliament can be run effectively with an opposition with the size that the MDC has got.

It will require skill on the part of those who are in the opposition and tolerance on the part of those who are in the majority.

While the MDC has said it will boycott the official opening by President Robert Mugabe, its MPs must know people expect better from them.

Gamesmanship and posturing can be done to a certain extent but the real job awaits them in Parliament.
Their contribution in committees won’t go unnoticed as previous works show how articulate the opposition MPs have been on many legislative issues.

And Zanu PF, despite having a majority, must not necessarily pass laws that alienate themselves from the people.

Among the Zanu PF lot there are new MPs who are of quite high moral ground who, on paper, inspire confidence.

Comments (3)

zanu pf will deliver,,,

fanuel chomuyeke - 2 September 2013

I, THE HAMMER, would like to sincerely thank you for publishing a mature and well balanced article. I hope that MDC-T Members of Parliament will heed the advice in this article. These MDC-T MPs should not be misled by the failed legislators such as Douglas Mwonzora who lost in the . How can a dismal and pathetic loser advice anyone constructively; see the ill advice he has been giving to the Former Prime Minister Morgan Richard Tsvangirai.

Rabison Nyundo (THE HAMMER) - 2 September 2013

there is something seriously wrong with the author of this article. Being part of parliamentary committees does not and will not change anything. ZANU PF has two thirds majority and whatever the opposition does zanu pf has the numbers so there...even a kinder garten child knows this!!!

jomo - 4 September 2013

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