Victor Maphosa-Herald Reporter
Parliament must at all times ensure that all organs of the State act in the best interests of the people.
All Government institutions, security services included, are accountable to Parliament with the ultimate objective of enhancing robust and credible governance.
This was said by Speaker of Parliament Advocate Jacob Mudenda yesterday while making a presentation at the Zimbabwe National Defence University on Parliament’s oversight role and contribution to national security.
He said the vision of every patriotic citizen must be that of a prosperous country where every person can realise their full potential within a secure national environment.
“To ensure that there is broad socio-economic development and empowerment, section 117 (2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe confers on Parliament, the power to amend this constitution in accordance with section 328, and to make laws for the peace, order and good governance of Zimbabwe.”
“This is the anchor of constitutional and legal guarantee for national security. No other institution has jurisdiction to make laws unless Parliament has expressly delegated that function to some such competent body.”
Adv Mudenda said the Parliament as an institution, was supposed to be revered.
“Accordingly, you must always make use of this revered institution because our future and that of posterity hinges on anchoring our national security policies on sound and credible laws that meet the demands of international law and instruments which must always advance peace and security nationally and internationally.
“In that context, the Zimbabwe National Defence University is challenged to conduct empirical research on national security and share the research results with the Cabinet as this organ is the engine room of most of the Bills that are tabled in Parliament.
“Parliament expects Bills that are grounded on incisive research so that the resultant laws pass the test of legal legitimacy that is promotive of national security.”
He said sound laws on their own were not enough to guarantee national security adding that at strategic levels, there was need to match the laws and strategic operational plans with the requisite financial resources to enable the realisation of the national security vision and mission.
“In this regard, Section 305 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe allocates exclusive powers to Parliament to appropriate resources for deployment to various State institutions. Equally, Parliament itself must be well resourced in order to exercise robust oversight over all state institutions and agencies in the interest of national security.
“From this presentation it is apparent that national security is grounded on constitutionalism, legality, the rule of law and sustainable parliamentary democracy. As Parliament, we will endeavour to ensure that we make meaningful contributions to the realisation and development of a sound national security legal framework.”
He urged the security institutions to always maintain a high degree of vigilance so that the nation is eternally secure.