via ‘Worst’ ministers revealed – NewsDay Zimbabwe August 19, 2015
DEFENCE minister Sydney Sekeramayi has the worst attendance record among ministers in the current Parliament, a report by a leading research organisation has revealed.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
According to the report by the Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU), Sekeremayi had the worst record after missing all sittings of the First Session of the 8th Parliament.
RAU named 10 worst ministers drawn from the current Cabinet and those forced out during a bitter purge against suspected allies of ousted Vice-President Joice Mujuru.
The report — titled Occasional Visitors Re-Visited: Attendance in the First Session of the 8th Parliament of Zimbabwe — said Sekeramayi had a 0% attendance record, suggesting that he even bunked question-and-answer sessions.
Others on the list are Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Walter Mzembi (23%), former Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa (23%), Sport, Arts and Culture minister Andrew Langa (25%), Bulawayo Provincial Affairs minister Eunice Sandi-Moyo (26%), Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo (27%), and Lands and Rural Resettlement minister Douglas Mombeshora (27%).
During the first session of the 8th Parliament, the National Assembly sat for 90 days.
“Notwithstanding the findings that the top 10 individual performers were all from Zanu PF, the first session of the 8th Parliament, however, saw a marked improvement for both parties with Zanu PF recording a 13% improvement in attendance rates to 73%, whilst the MDC-T declined by 5% to 74%,” the report read.
“New ministers attended significantly more frequently than their more experienced colleagues at 48% rate (43 times), as opposed to old ministers who only attended 33 times (36%).”
The report also revealed that during the first session of the Eighth Parliament, government owed MPs $1 372 350 in sitting allowances as each MP out of the 270 legislators in the National Assembly was supposed to get approximately $4 919 in sitting allowances that were pegged at $75 per sitting.
MPs who spoke to NewsDay on condition of anonymity confirmed that government was struggling to pay sitting allowances.
The government was said to have spent approximately more than $6 million in MPs’ salaries, assuming their salary bill was
$1 000 per legislator.
“These costs do not include other costs that Parliament incurs in providing accommodation during sessions, transport costs (calculated as mileage from the MP’s constituency), or subsistence allowances,” RAU said.
Women were said to have fared better in terms of attendance, registering a 78% attendance rate as opposed to 71% registered by their male counterparts.
“Women members of the MDC-T were more frequent attendees than their counterparts in Zanu PF,” the report says.
Gokwe-Nembudziya MP Justice Mayor Wadyajena was ranked the best MP in terms of attendance.
“A key area of concern for both Parliamentarians and citizens has been the attendance by ministers, and especially their attendance in the sessions reserved for questions,” RAU added.
Former Youth minister Francis Nhema was ranked the highest in terms of attendance at 94%, followed by Novet Mukonora at (91%), Abednico Ncube (82%), former Mashonaland East Provincial Affairs minister Simbauneta Mudarikwa (77%) and Home Affairs deputy minister Ziyambi Ziyambi at 74%.
On Parliament business, RAU said 11 Bills were passed into law, but only a few addressed pressing issues of harmonising legislation with the new Constitution.