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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
Parly should not be another bedroom
Tangai Chipangura, NewsDay
September 03, 2013
take the oath of office today and also elect the Speaker of the
House, president of the Senate and their deputies, all four of whom
are expected to be from Zanu PF party on account of their majority
numbers in both Houses.
the fact that the House is largely expected to flow in one direction,
without any effective dissent when it comes to passing of laws,
we still expect lively debate spurred by logical thinking and the
spirit of national interest.
The danger parliamentarians
should spare us is that sleeping sickness that has invariably afflicted
many of our legislators for as long periods as the entire five-year
life of Parliament.
is very likely to turn into a real scourge in the life of this Parly
unless our honourable men and women who have been mandated with
the task of representing the interests of all of us, the ordinary
citizens of this country, really put an effort to keep awake to
the reason for their presence in the august House.
There is a real
danger those MPs from Zanu PF may not feel the urge to stay awake
because whatever the party wants will pass on the strength of its
two-thirds parliamentary majority.
By the same
spirit of indolence, that same urge may prevail over the few opposition
MPs who will want to reason, “there is no point straining
oneself with debate or argument when it is clear a Zanu PF position
will carry the day”.
pray that lawmakers do not sleep on the job lest this country will
A country without
a meaningful legislature is rudderless and exposed. It becomes vulnerable
to the excesses of Cabinet, exploitation of all sorts and virtually
no protection of the interests of the general populace.
be expected of the new Parliament is a healthy scenario such as
prevailed in the House in the 80s and early 90s when, even as we
had a one-party-state government and a one-party majority in Parliament,
we still had life in the House.
days of the Lazarus Nzarayebanis, the Sydney Malungas and other
brave men of the people in the backbenches when Parliament was not
just a rubber-stamping institution.
We need MPs
that will stand by the people that put them in the House; putting
the interests of their people ahead of everything else.
If MPs are going
to the House to protect their individual interests by bootlicking
the party even where the policies and laws the party may be pushing
go against the interests of the ordinary people, then that will
be a big betrayal of the people’s vote.
MPs are expected to continue to keep eyes and ears open and to bring
to the House issues that seek to serve the interests of the country
and its people.
not go there just to sit and wait for the benefits that come along
with being MPs. They are there to defend, with all they have, the
Constitution and to act as the mouth, the eyes and the ears of the
people. It does not matter that they may be in the minority and
therefore without the numbers to push through their ideas.
There will be
many in the ruling party that will buy good ideas and that will
support them. But, if they are going to act like the proverbial
three monkeys, the people will judge them accordingly.
The appeal to
those within the ruling party that feel they must ever be controversial
– even vindictive in their victory – out to push into
the minds of their opponents, the MDCs, the reality that they have
been defeated — is that they must exercise restraint and refrain
from falling to the temptation of tampering with the Constitution
for no reasonable reason but to spite their political opponents.
The new Constitution
is a product of the people and playing around with it on the strength
of parliamentary majority would not be right.
are indications the ruling party intends to amend parts of the Constitution
to suit their selfish party needs.
We hope this
does not happen.
The people would
view them as a party of betrayers and deceivers.
But most of
all, as the new Parliament opens, Zimbabwe expects sensible contributions
from the MPs, both new and old.
The people expect
Parliament to be a place where serious national issues are debated
in the interest of the people – not some of the petty discourse
that we have suffered through the last session of Parliament.
case, let us have a vibrant Parliament where intelligent and lively
debate takes place - not a House where Honourable members think
they can just come to sleep and snore!
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