Back to Index
Roundup Bulletin No. 26 - 2011
Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust
September 01, 2011
of Assembly blocked the suspension of Standing Orders relating
to the passage of Bills, which would have allowed the Minister of
Justice and Legal Affairs to fast-track the passage of the Zimbabwe
Human Rights Commission Bill, H.B. 2 – 2011 yesterday.
Most of the Ministers were conspicuous by their absence in the House
to answer questions from backbenchers.
of Assembly Plenary
On behalf of
the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, the Acting Leader of
the House Deputy Prime Minister Professor Arthur Mutambara sought
the permission of the House to suspend Standing Orders relating
to passage of Bills and the automatic adjournment of the House at
1855 hours with respect to the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission
Bill, H.B. 2 – 2011. MDC MPs objected to the motion on the
basis that the Bill was a very important piece of legislation and
therefore MPs required ample to time to study it and consult widely
in order to make informed contributions.
debate on the motion was Hon. Willias Madzimure (Kambuzuma Constituency)
who was supported by Hon. Simon Hove (Highfield West Constituency).
ZANU PF Chief
Whip, Hon. Joram Gumbo said MPs from his party had no qualms with
MDC-T objections, though they would have wanted the Bill passed
as a matter of urgency given its national importance.
above, most Ministers did not attend yesterday’s sitting and
as a result backbenchers could only raise questions to the Acting
Leader of the House, Professor Mutambara, Hon. Eric Matinenga, Hon.
Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, Hon. Nelson Chamisa and Hon. Tongai Matutu.
of Foreign Ambassadors
Hon. Simon Hove
(MDC-T Highfield West) asked Deputy Prime Minister Professor Mutambara
to brief the House on government policy regarding deportation of
accredited foreign ambassadors, specifically in light of the Libyan
Ambassador. Professor Mutambara said the case of the Libyan Ambassador
presented the government of Zimbabwe with a technical diplomatic
dilemma in the sense that he was accredited on the basis that he
was representing the Gaddafi regime which was constitutionally recognized
as the legitimate government then. Compounding the problem was that
the government of Zimbabwe has not recognized the National Transitional
Council (NTC) in Libya and therefore it would not be correct to
allow the Libyan Ambassador to remain in the country after shifting
his allegiance from the government that deployed him in Zimbabwe
as its Ambassador. Thus, the government of Zimbabwe took the decision
to expel the Libyan Ambassador. He said the position of Zimbabwe
towards the NTC will be guided by SADC and African Union resolutions.
Hon. Anadi Silulu
(MDC-T Silobela) asked Deputy Prime Minister Professor Mutambara
to explain government policy regarding harbouring deposed dictators
in the light of press reports that Colonel Gaddafi may be on his
way to Zimbabwe. Professor Mutambara said the decision to give asylum
status to a deposed leader was usually done to allow transition
to take place in his country. On whether or not the government of
Zimbabwe will grant Colonel Gaddafi asylum status, Professor Mutambara
said government had not discussed the matter and would only discus
it when such a request had been made.
to Donor Community by Manicaland Governor
Hon. Shuah Mudiwa
(MDC-T Mutare West) asked Deputy Prime Minister Professor Mutambara
if directives by Manicaland Governor, Hon. Christopher Mushowe that
donor organizations in the province should only work with the office
of the governor, the provincial administrator and district administrators
and exclude elected officials such as MPs and councillors, were
in line with government policy. Professor Mutambara said in terms
of policy, elected officials such as MPs and councillors were part
of the governance structure at the local level and therefore should
be part of developmental programmes in their local areas.
Mangami (ZANU PF Gokwe) asked the Minister of Water Resources Hon.
Samuel Sipepa Nkomo to explain to the House why residents were billed
every month for water they had not consumed. The Minister said it
was incumbent upon residents to approach their local authorities
to clarify their water bills. When pressed by backbenchers what
exactly should residents do if they established that they had been
billed for water they had not consumed, Hon. Sipepa Nkomo said residents
should only pay for what they had consumed.
Water Supply to Essential Services
a supplementary question by Hon. Obert Matshalaga (ZANU PF Zvishavane)
whether or not it was government policy to disconnect water supplies
to essential services such as hospitals, the Minister said that
was not government policy and those institutions should not be disconnected.
of the Constituency Development Fund
Sibanda (ZANU PF Bubi) requested the Minister of Constitutional
and Parliamentary Affairs, Hon. Eric Matinenga to publish names
of MPs who had not submitted their returns for the Constituency
Development Fund (CDF) allocations. Hon. Sibanda said this will
clear the names of those who have acquitted themselves since the
press had given the public the impression that all MPs had abused
the fund. The Minister said so far 133 MPs had submitted acquittals
and he made an undertaking to submit to parliament names of those
MPs that had complied with the requirement to submit returns.
Policy Regarding Banking Institutions
Sansole (MDC-T Hwange East) asked the Deputy Minister of Youth Development,
Indigenization and Empowerment, Hon. Tongai Matutu to explain to
the House government policy on indigenization and Empowerment in
view of press statements in which Minister Saviour Kasukuwere was
quoted threatening some banks with cancellation of their operating
licences if they did not meet the deadline for submitting their
indigenization plans. Hon. Matutu informed the House that it was
not the responsibility of his ministry to cancel licences for banking
institutions but that of the central bank. The role of his ministry
was to ensure compliance by foreign-owned companies. He also assured
the House that the issue had since been resolved and his ministry
was currently involved in discussions with the banks in question
on the threshold the banking sector was proposing to cede.
Hon. Fred Kanzama
asked the Minister of Information and Communication Technology,
Hon Nelson Chamisa if he could also consider allocating laptops
to backbenchers as he recently did to Ministers. Hon. Chamisa assured
backbenchers that his ministry was in the process of extending the
same programme to all MPs as a way of promoting the e-government
programme in the country. He said that e-government could only succeed
if policy-makers take a leading role in the programme given the
imperatives of the new technology age.
of Privileges Committee
The House unanimously
adopted a motion by Hon. Eric Matinenga, the Minister of Constitutional
and Parliamentary Affairs to set up a Privileges Committee to investigate
Mr. Arafas Gwaradzimba for prima farcie breach of privilege amounting
to contempt of parliament. The Speaker informed the House that the
Standing Rules and Orders Committee would appoint the Privileges
Committee in due course to look into the matter. The matter was
first raised by the Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy in its
report on the Mashava Shabanie Mines fiasco. The Committee alleged
that Mr. Gwaradzimba published disparaging press statements on Committee
Members soon after he appeared before the Committee insinuating
that Committee Members were corrupt and dishonest. The Committee
requested the Speaker to make a ruling on the matter. In his ruling,
the Speaker established that there was a prima farcie case of breach
of privilege by Mr. Gwaradzimba.
of the House
The House of
Assembly adjourned to 20 September 2011. The 4th Session of the
7th Parliament is scheduled to be officially opened on Tuesday 6
September 2011 by President Mugabe.
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.