‘Ignorant MPs need training’

via ‘Ignorant MPs need training’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 30, 2015

LOCAL MPs need to undergo special skills training workshops before commencement of duty so that they can effectively play their oversight role by quizzing Cabinet ministers in Parliament, Economic Planning secretary Desire Sibanda has said.

BY Everson Mushava

Addressing a stakeholders’ meeting organised by the National Association of Non-Governnmental Organisations in Harare last Friday, Sibanda said Sweden had expressed interest in training local MPs so that they do not ask basic operational issues of ministries at the expense of pertinent questions.

Sibanda said effective MPs should make members of the Executive quirk in their shoes whenever they appear before Parliament.
“Bureaucrats should dread coming to parliamentary portfolio committees for questioning,” Sibanda said.

“MPs should be trained on how to ask questions. In Sweden, you don’t go to Parliament without training on how to ask questions. We can get support from Sweden, they are ready to train MPs.”

Sibanda’s remarks came a day after University of Zimbabwe law professor Lovemore Madhuku blasted local lawmakers saying most of them had no idea of their oversight role resulting in them taking a partisan stance when dealing with important issues that affect citizens.

Participants at the meeting said Zimbabwe was failing to effectively benefit from several investment deals signed by foreign investors because they were being negotiated by politicians who lacked special skills.

Sibanda said although as technocrats they were involved in negotiating the deals, politicians had the last word.
“You are aware we live in a political economy, a decision would be made by the politicians eventually, not the technocrats,” he said.