Ministers abscond Senate question time

HARARE - Cabinet ministers are adopting the increasingly evasive and disdainful approach to the work of Parliament, Senators complained after ministers absconded the question time last week.

Walter Chidhakwa, Mines minister, was the only Cabinet minister who was present in the Senate chamber for question time, which is held every Thursday whenever Parliament is sitting.

The other ministers did not offer an explanation for their absence from the oral question session which they were scheduled to attend.

Monica Mutsvangwa, Zanu PF Senator for Manicaland, expressed disappointment at the absence saying there was increasing disdain for accountability.

“We are disappointed by the ministers,” she said.

“They are not taking the business of this house seriously. Ministers should come to Parliament so that we can ask them questions. We have questions on the Order Paper for the past three months that have not been answered. We wish if President Edna Madzongwe could communicate with the ministers to attend the question time sessions.”

Madzongwe promised the senators that she was going to take up the matter with the leader of the House and Parliamentary minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, to remind ministers to attend Parliament.

Ministers are expected to answer questions from legislators in the National Assembly on Wednesday and Thursday in the Senate.

Senators want cabinet ministers penalised for their non-appearance.

Meanwhile, Senators were forced to restrict questions to Chidhakwa only, with the majority of the cabinet ministers seated in the lower house, which was also in session. 

The Senators also complained that many of their recommendations from their deliberations in the thematic committees were not being implemented.

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