Ministers continue bunking Parly’s Q&A sessions

THE bunking of parliamentary sessions, particularly Wednesdays’ question-and-answer sessions with Cabinet ministers, has continued unabated despite calls for truant ministers to be penalised.

Source: Ministers continue bunking Parly’s Q&A sessions – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 13, 2016


Gokwe MP Dorothy Mhangami (Zanu PF) last Wednesday raised the same issue in the National Assembly with Deputy Speaker Mabel Chinomona after it emerged that only five ministers were in the House.

“Since we do not have any minister, with the exception of Joseph Made (Agriculture), and Tshinga Dube (War Veterans), I suggest postponement of questions without notice in order to allow ministers to come in,” Mhangami said before Makhosini Hlongwane (Sport and Recreation), Saviour Kasukuwere (Local Government) and Walter Mzembi (Tourism) walked in.

MDC-T chief whip Innocent Gonese said the absence of ministers in the House was a serious indictment on their part and government.

“We have said that all political parties must be aware that their schedules like politburo and central committee meetings do not clash with Parliament, as the business of the House must take precedence,” he said.

“Given that Parliament has just come from a two-week long adjournment, there are burning issues that backbenchers want to ask coming from different constituencies. We end up not knowing whether ministers are running away from answering questions.”

But Chinomona quashed Gonese’s point of order, saying Parliament business could still proceed with the few available ministers.

In Senate on Thursday, only four deputy ministers turned up and these were Paddy Zhanda (Agriculture — Livestock), Godfrey Gandawa (Higher Education), Berita Chikwama (Lands and Rural Resettlement) and Win Mlambo (Information Communication Technology).

Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda and Senate President Edna Madzongwe have often threatened to penalise truant ministers, but are yet to bring them to book.