via You can’t grill Mugabe, MPs told 28 August 2014
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is not obliged to come before parliament to answer questions from MPs, Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.
Mnangagwa, who is the leader of the House, was responding to a question from MDC-T senator for Bulawayo, Agnes Sibanda, who had asked why the president did not appear before parliament to take questions from lawmakers.
The minister said under Zimbabwe’s laws, Mugabe could only appear in parliament when officially opening parliament and when he “feels like delivering” the State of the Nation address.
“This issue of you wanting to grill him here, we have removed that from the constitution. You have to grill these ministers and do so, vaumburudzei ivava maministers (grill these ministers), they represent him and have the answers,” he said.
“Asi kuti titi president vauye pano movabvumburudza nemibvunzo, takati kwete, hazvigone, maministers ndivo vane mhinduro dzose dzamungade (We said it was not proper to summon the president to answer questions in parliament).”
“The idea that he should come here in the Senate or in the National Assembly to answer questions and answer sessions is not there . . . The president will not come here except during the times that I have referred to,” he said.
In South Africa, for instance, it is mandatory for the president to appear before parliament and deliver the State of the Nation address before taking responses from MPs.
Last week, the South African parliament descended into a farce after Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MPs booed President Jacob Zuma after they accused him of evading their questions.