Ninth Parly should realign laws

HARARE - One of the key issues that the Ninth Parliament must focus on in the next five years is the realignment of laws with the Constitution and consolidation of the rights of Zimbabweans as enshrined in the Bill of Rights.

Thus, Parliament must ensure implementation of the Constitution and we hope Zanu PF will not be tempted to temper with our supreme law to suit their political character.

It would be a betrayal for Zanu PF to use its majority in the august House to reduce the legislature into a rubber stamp of the Executive because of the whipping system. Equally, Zimbabweans expect the Ninth Parliament to deal with the issues of rampant corruption, skyrocketing public debt and prioritisation of resources towards development.

It should also work to entrench the respect for human rights and supporting local human rights organisations and civil society that are working towards advancing human rights enshrined in our national charter. Members of Parliament from both Zanu PF and MDC are expected to exhibit maturity and restore the effectiveness of the Legislature by holding the Executive to account, hence the need to thoroughly introspect Bills brought before the House.

Unlike in the past, we hope the Ninth Parliament will not be too subservient and a poodle of the Executive much to the detriment of the principles of providing checks and balances. Legislators should also propose reforms within the media and economic sectors. The public media has to reform and serve all Zimbabweans regardless of their political affiliation.

We urge the opposition not to waste time by being petty; they should be pushing for electoral reforms and focus on the nation’s development. There is need for the opposition to realise its strategic role in national affairs and they have to abandon their present preoccupation with activist power politics.

The past Parliaments have witnessed some members who spent their five-year terms without contributing to a single debate which is a betrayal to the constituencies that voted them into office. Others were known for absconding Parliament and only resurfaced before they were to be suspended for absenteeism.

We expect legislators to represent their constituencies, hence issues they bring to the House have to benefit their communities. While we expect the legislators to be in Parliament debating on key issues, we also expect them to be reporting back to their constituencies because some of the members never return to their bases with feedback. For the Parliament to be effective, we also expect the new Cabinet ministers to attend sessions and answer questions from legislators concerning their ministries.

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