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of Assembly, Senate roles to be separated
The roles and identity
of the House of Assembly and Senate will soon be separated to avoid
duplication of duties and friction between members of the two houses
in their constituencies.
This emerged during a
retreat in Victoria Falls of the Parliamentary Liaison and Coordinating
Committee and the resolutions will soon be tabled before Parliament
The Liaison and Coordinating
Committee comprises chairpersons of portfolio committees, chairperson
of the women caucus, Government and opposition chief whips.
Addressing a press conference
in Harare yesterday, chairman of the Liaison and Coordinating Committee
and Government Chief Whip Cde Joram Gumbo said the separation of
identities could be achieved through separate committee systems
for the two Houses and the delineation of their different roles
of different roles and responsibilities was important to remove
duplication and forestall the development of friction between Senators
and Members of the House of Assembly especially in their constituencies,”
said Cde Gumbo, who is Mberengwa West Member of the House of Assembly.
“We made the resolution
that the Standing Rules and Orders Committee should facilitate the
creation of separate identities and functions for the Senate and
the House of Assembly through delineating different roles and responsibilities
for each House. That thematic committees, that are subject specific,
be created for the Senate as part of creating separate identities
for the two Houses.”
There have been reports
of tension between Senators and Members of the House of Assembly
in the past especially in constituencies as members of the Upper
House felt that they were more senior by virtue of them representing
a bigger area.
The perceived tension
has been discussed in various parliamentary retreats.
press briefing, Cde Gumbo said the proposed changes were part of
ongoing parliamentary reforms which began in 1998.
He said it was important
to realize the difference between the current Senate and the one
in place soon after independence as the current one was made of
elected representatives while its predecessor was made up of appointed
He said the current set
up of elected Senators allows and promotes accountability.
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