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Parliamentary round up: Bulletin No. 20 / 2010
Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust
October 21, 2010

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Plenary session in the House of Assembly: Questions without Notice

Appointments of Ambassadors, Provincial Governors and Judges

Following an undertaking by the Acting Leader of the House, Hon. Prof. Mutambara, last week, most Ministers attended the question time in the House yesterday, Wednesday 20 October 2010. The Acting Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon. Nomalanga Khumalo, commended the Ministers. This was against a backdrop of poor attendance by Ministers in the previous sittings of the House. Last Wednesday the Speaker, Hon. Lovemore Moyo, appealed to the Acting Leader of the House, Hon. Prof. Mutambara, to convey the House’s dismay to Cabinet on the Ministers’ absence. It is hoped that this trend will continue in future sittings of the House. Question time is very crucial to backbenchers, because it provides them with an opportunity to raise policy issues that affect their constituents to the Executive.

The most topical issue during the question and answer session yesterday related to the policy and constitutionality of the appointments of ambassadors, governors and judges. Questions on this issue were raised by Hon. Mazikana (ZANU PF) and Hon. Mwonzora (MDC-T), respectively. The Acting Leader of the House, Hon. Prof. Mutambara, said the policy is expressly defined in the constitution and in particular Constitutional Amendment No. 19 for the current political dispensation of inclusive government. On the constitutionality aspect of it, he said only the Supreme Court can make a determination on the matter. He encouraged political parties in the inclusive government to solve their differences internally and this did not go down well with MDC-T MPs. They interpreted this as a veiled reference to the action taken by the Prime Minister who wrote to the EU, UN, S.A. etc dismissing the unilateral appointments made by President Mugabe.

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