Mudenda reads riot act

HARARE - Jacob Mudenda, Speaker of the National Assembly, has threatened to punish Cabinet ministers and their deputies who are in the habit of absenting themselves from Parliament without good reason.

Mudenda told the Daily News yesterday that Parliament’s Standing Rules and Orders Committee (SROC) will meet today to deliberate on the matter.

He said ministers and their deputies were disregarding last year’s warning against absconding question and answer sessions.

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

Deputy ministers did not avail themselves for the Senate question time on Thursday.

“We are going to discuss the matter in the SROC meeting tomorrow (today) and determine the way forward over this matter,” Mudenda said.

“Already, there is a ruling to that effect and we shall look into it. We want to finish this issue.”

Matabeleland North Senator Thokozile Mathuthu lodged a bitter complaint against deputy ministers on Thursday, accusing the junior ministers of taking the Upper House for granted.

She was supported by Chief Fortune Charumbira who said senators should write to the executive arm of government complaining about the deputy ministers’ no-show.

Mudenda last year said all members of the executive were fully accountable to Parliament and must fulfil their constitutionally-mandated roles in this respect.

He said the executive was demonstrating disdain for parliamentary oversight over the executive in a bid to avoid responsibility for their departments.

Ministers have in recent weeks been failing to attend plenaries, missing oral question sessions or simply making themselves unavailable to meet with portfolio committees.

Mudenda warned that if ministers failed to heed the warning, he would be left with no choice but to punish them.

In the same vein, Mudenda cautioned legislators who bunk Parliament and portfolio meetings.

The Speaker took exception to some legislators abandoning their questions and said he would name and shame those who bunk Parliament.

Comments (5)

We hope alligning of statute to yhe supreme law is in progress during these sittings.

elected councillor - 9 February 2015

If they have already been warned, why are you warning them again? Now is the time for action and carry through your threats Mr Mudenda.

Lt General - 9 February 2015

Cabinet Ministers do not come to a parliament with illegal people inside it. Mudenda should first deal with aliens in parliamnet, the Mbitis, Chikwinyas, Kerekes and the like first to show us he is a man who can punish Ministers.

maita - 10 February 2015

Mr Speaker Sir, please act now. Musangovhundutsire chete always.

Chabvondoka - 10 February 2015

How will this ugly fat slob punish them? By placing his lardy ass on their faces,

Joice Fatlips - 11 February 2015

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