Blessings Mashaya 11 May 2017
HARARE – Legislators on Tuesday slammed Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko
for bunking the National Assembly during the second reading of the
National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) Bill.
This was after Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere delivered the
second reading speech explaining the NPRC Bill on behalf of Mphoko.
The debate was forced to adjourn after MPs complained bitterly that there
was no one listening to them.
Kuwadzana East MDC MP Nelson Chamisa said there was no point in the
National Assembly continuing to debate the Bill in the absence of Mphoko,
who is responsible for the National Healing portfolio.
“I do not think it is sufficient to say we will have the minister reading
the Hansard. Yes, he can read the Hansard but he will not be able to
understand and read the body language and the emotions of members. This is
a serious national debate. It can only be a debate by all of us,” he said.
“We know that the vice president is busy but in as much as he is busy, the
minister of State could also come in. I can see that there is none. The
seats are vacant and it tells you one thing . . . there is no seriousness
by individuals who have been entrusted by government to deal with this
Bill,” Chamisa fumed.
Norton independent MP Temba Mliswa accused Mphoko of not taking Parliament
“You . . . have always told us you have written to his excellency over the
conduct of the ministers. Up to now, you have not told us what his
excellency has said,” he asked acting Speaker Melody Dziva, adding “we
continue doing this everyday and it has become a game”.
“Why can he not learn from . . . (Vice President Emmerson) Mnangagwa on
the way he conducts his duty? I think he (Mphoko) needs to go for some
schooling from the presidium pertaining to his conduct as … vice
president. If he is not available, his responsible minister must be able
to represent him,” Mliswa argued.
Harare West MDC MP Jessie Majome also complained that the minister who
sponsored the Bill was not absent.
“I would wish it put on record and hope that MPs take very strong
exception to the attitude of the Executive in not valuing the processes of
this Parliament,” she said.
After the MPs complaints, the National Assembly was forced to adjourn,
with Dziva saying the VP was in Bulawayo on national duty, and had sent