Undenge ducks power questions

HARARE - Energy minister Samuel Undenge left opposition legislators livid after he dodged their questions on the deepening power crisis.

Undenge walked out of Parliament on Wednesday about 10 minutes after the National Assembly sat for the day’s business.

Soon after Undenge’s departure, opposition legislators, led by Mkoba MP Amos Chibaya, raised a point of order demanding his return.

They argued that they had “pertinent questions to ask him concerning what is happening in this country.”

Chibaya was, however, ruled out of order by acting National Assembly Speaker Mabel Chinomona “because the minister is allowed to go out and come in again”.

“You do not know whether he is going to stay there or he has gone to the restroom. You cannot go around chasing the minister,” Chinomona ruled.

Efforts to get Undenge’s comment were futile yesterday.

He also did not respond to a text message sent to his mobile phone.

Determined to grill Undenge on the dire power situation, Warren Park MDC MP Elias Mudzuri raised another point of order.

“Sorry Madam Speaker, after your ruling, it is now more than 30 minutes when honourable minister Undenge went out,” he said.

“We have serious questions to ask him. If he is somewhere, he must come back. We believe that he can go out and come back but it is more than 30 minutes and question time is ticking away.

“We have a serious national crisis at hand. The minister must come and answer our questions.”

The acting speaker seemed equally determined to protect the minister.

But the gritty Mudzuri was not about to give up, raising yet another point of order requesting Chinomona to respect the house’s standing rules and orders.

Chinomona eventually assured the MPs that she would raise the issue with Joram Gumbo, the Zanu PF chief whip.

But her promise did not dampen the spirit of the opposition lawmakers, with Kuwadzana West MDC MP Nelson Chamisa demanding that vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, the leader of government business in Parliament, respond on Undenge’s behalf.

Chamisa noted that the country was in a precarious predicament owing to electricity problems that are also affecting industry.

“We would have expected minister Undenge who is responsible, according to the Constitution in section 107; there is what is called collective responsibility, to give a ministerial statement explaining the power outages and load shedding in the country,” Chamisa said

“We therefore ask the acting President to give us government plans regarding the power outages and load shedding.”

Mnangagwa acknowledged that the country was indeed in crisis.

“We are asking the Lord above to give us more rains so that we can have a lot of water in our dams,” Mnangagwa said.

He said the country used to generate 800 megawatts of electricity from Kariba but the output had drastically reduced due to low water levels.

“We have looked for alternative ways for generating electricity. As such, we are not going to talk much about these plans because we have plans which we cannot divulge because we do not know how far they will go,” he said.

Comments (7)

they are told eo be arrogant by their boss rwahi gukurahundi Mugabe. it is a follow leader thing. no accountability to parly, no accountability to the electorate, zanu style.

josphat mugadzaweta - 2 October 2015

Economics 101.... where is NIKUV to "RIG " the national Power Grid and then the Energy Minister can announce the tripple megawatts output. The country had floods the past season, What God 's help does VP want. Major factories have closed shop , where is electricity. Most of the small streams and rivers accross the country have been grossly affected by human behaviour and uncontrolled new settlements all over the place. Most of the dams are filling up with sand.Our country is very small ,if properly managed there is enough for every one even giving old people free (kwh) power to use every month.

X-MAN IV - 2 October 2015

Methinks Undenge had rushed to brief HE and FL of the factional crisis in Manicaland. To him, and all of his party colleagues, that is more important than Parly and electricity business. Cry the beloved country!!

boutros - 3 October 2015

Undenge did what his boss should have done many times. If you know nothing do not talk especially to parliament unless ZTV is off? Undenge knows nothing about electricity, so he had nothing to say and he left.

Okech - 3 October 2015

thumps up Sam.keep them wondering

ruckus - 3 October 2015

On his return from the UN Nugabe said Udenge was not responsible for the power shortages. He was very correct. Mugabe himself is!!! He is the reason Hwange 7 and 8 were never constructed in the late 1990s since he overuled the then tender system as well as the board to award the tender to YTL of Malaysia, who had never done a power plant in their life. YTL ran away leaving the project undone. His psycophants, who cant dare stand up to him, are all bootlicking and showering praised so disgracefully that if Mugabe were to phat they would say THANK YOU CHEF FOR SPRAYING US WITH THE SWEETEST PERFUME WE CANT AFFORD OURSELVES!!! Disgusting bastards!!!!

SHIBOBO - 3 October 2015

Is there any leader who is genuinely interested in taking my Crying Beloved country out of its doldrums...... I doubt it. Only just self interest out there.

Den - 5 October 2015

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.