'Our hands are tied'

HARARE - Government says it cannot police ministers who are in the habit of avoiding Parliament’s question and answer sessions as it is tantamount to interfering with the work of the legislature by the executive.

Ministers are expected to appear in the august House on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Emmerson Mnangagwa, the leader of government business both in the Upper and Lower chambers told legislators on Tuesday that as the legislative arm of government, they must ensure that ministers attend Parliament in order to answer to policy issues relating to their respective portfolios.

Ronald Muderedza, Zanu PF Buhera Central MP had asked government’s position on Cabinet ministers who abscond the crucial sessions.

“Government has three arms — the executive, judiciary and legislature. Now the honourable member is asking why the executive does not interfere…,” said Mnangagwa before he was interjected by Mabel Chinomona, the acting speaker, who suggested Mnangagwa had not understood the MP’s question.

“I don’t think he wants the executive to interfere but to hear government policy on those that abscond,” Chinomona said.

But Mnangagwa, who is also the minister of Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs maintained that the executive cannot force ministers to attend the sessions.

“I am very clear, he is asking whether there is government policy which resides in the executive but parliamentary procedures reside in the House. So I am completely correct to advise him that the offensive he seeks cannot be done by the executive but Parliament,” he said.

The question and answer sessions present an opportunities for backbenchers (MPs who are not ministers) to ask ministers questions on a number of issues that may be affecting their constituencies or the country at large.

Comments (1)

The ministers seem not to fully understand their roles as ministers. Zimbabwe is run and managed by jokers and clowns. Just look at them, they are not even embarrassed by their failures. Failure is regarded as success by fools. No water in the taps, garbage is not collected, electricity is not generated, and at the end of the month, some one expects to be paid for working. Zanu-Pf and MDC are equally the same. Sorry, governance is so easy for the wise, but when fools think they know BEST, the results are so clear. MPs who never owned not even a blanket or a bicycle are now demanding luxury vehicles as a right, yet fail to address the real issues of affecting the Citizens. All Zimbabweans are not affiliated to the two main political parties. So when we pay our taxes, we are not paying for political parties, but for services which are not coming. Why they dont know why they are in parliament . All rides come to an end, there is no free ride which continues forever. It's called free ride, which means, there is a limit. kkk.

themba - 19 July 2014

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