via Stop ‘disrespecting Mugabe’ , MPs told – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 8, 2016
Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda yesterday ruled that MPs should stop using language that shows “disrespect” to President Robert Mugabe when debating in Parliament.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
Binga North MP Prince Dubeko Sibanda (MDC-T) in February argued that since Parliament had an oversight role over Mugabe’s office, MPs can even ridicule him during contributions to debate.
But Mudenda, in his ruling, said Mugabe’s name could not be used “willy-nilly” and in disrespect.
“Section 93 (i) and (iii) of the National Assembly Standing Rules and Orders states that no person shall, while speaking to a question, use the name of the President irrelevantly in debate or for the purpose of influencing the House in deliberations,” Mudenda said.
He said it was impermissible to use Mugabe’s name irrelevantly and for the purpose of influencing the House in deliberations.
“The expectation is that MPs in their debate should not use the name of the President in a disrespectful manner. Use of the name in a courteous and respectful manner is tolerated,” Mudenda said.
He cited the British system where the use of the Queen’s name in debate was unconstitutional and inconsistent with the independence of Parliament.
“Accordingly, the chair rules that the office of the President is subject to oversight by Parliament in terms of procedure explained above. Reference to the name of the President is allowed provided it is done courteously and respectfully,” Mudenda.
“Reference to the name of the President in order to influence debate or decisions in the House is inconsistent with National Assembly Standing Order 93 (i) and will not be accepted in view of that the President is Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces of Zimbabwe.”
Meanwhile, Information Communication Technology minister Supa Mandiwanzira was asked by Midlands Senator Lillian Timveos (MDC-T) to explain allegations of corruption at NetOne and negative reports circulated on the Internet about his alleged involvement.
Mandiwanzira told the Senate that he could not comment on the issue until the finalisation of the NetOne audit.
The NetOne board recently placed on forced leave chief executive officer Reward Kangai and a few other executives amid reports the company had lost millions of dollars through suspicious deals.