$5m boost for Parliament

HARARE - The Parliament of Zimbabwe will receive at least $5 million in a multi-donor support scheme that is aimed at capacitating legislators as well as achieve gender parity.

Part of the donor support programme for Parliament and the Office of the Auditor General is a $1, 8 million fund — that will be bankrolled by the Embassy of Sweden.

The European Union and UNDP, will also fund the project to the tune of $2 million and $1 million, respectively.

Receiving the donations on Monday, Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda said the initiative  will ensure that Parliament effectively plays its “representative, oversight and legislative roles in compliance with constitutional obligations and international normative standards”.

“People with good intentions make promises but people with good character keep them,” Mudenda said in reference to the fulfilment of the pledge made by the Swedish Embassy in March 2015.

“The commitment you have amply demonstrated by keeping to your pledge through the contribution of 15 million Swedish Kroner to the Parliamentary Support Programme underlines the Swedish Government’s commitment to enhancing the effectiveness of Parliament of Zimbabwe in the national governance matrix,” Mudenda said.

Speaking at the same ceremony, Ambassador of Sweden to Zimbabwe Lars Ronnos said the programme will go a long way in creating gender equality.

“We’re very pleased to engage in – and to support the very core of Zimbabwe’s political system — the Parliament,” he said.

“The support is multifaceted, but I would like to emphasise the gender aspect of the programme. Strengthening women’s participation and engagement in all parliamentary processes is a main priority for Sweden.”

Describing the launch of the project as timely, UNDP Resident Representative Bishow Parajuli, noted that enhancing Parliament’s capacities to perform its core functions, as well as promote public participation, accountability and gender equality is of paramount importance for consolidating good governance and democracy in the country.

“This programme has a strong capacity building component that will ensure decisions of Parliament are anchored on evidence, sound knowledge and best international practices” said Parajuli who is also UN Resident Coordinator in Zimbabwe.

The partnership between the EU, SIDA and UNDP as well as other development partners is in line with UNDP’s new Strategic Plan that seeks to build on the steps that have been taken in the areas of development cooperation.

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