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Parliamentary Roundup Bulletin No. 36 - 2011
Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust
November 16, 2011

Introduction

Both Houses resumed their sitting yesterday after a two-week break. The House of Assembly debated condolence motions on the death of Professor Elphas Mukonoweshuro and Retired General Solomon Mujuru. The Senate debated a motion by Hon. Morgan Komichi on the need to liberalize the airwaves.

House of Assembly Plenary Proceedings:

Not much business was transacted in the House of Assembly yesterday save for debate on the condolence motions on the death of Professor Elphas Mukonoweshuro and Retired General Solomon Mujuru.

Members described Professor Elphas Mukonoweshuro and Retired General Solomon Mujuru as humble men who contributed immensely to the liberation of Zimbabwe and the development of the country after independence.

Professor Mutambara said Mukonoweshuro left an indelible legacy in the academic field which he urged the young generation to emulate. He also said Mukonoweshuro contributed immensely to the human capital development in the country as most senior personnel in the civil service and private sector passed through his hands. Professor Mutambara told the House that Mukonoweshuro was also a stabilizing voice in the Cabinet.

Senate Plenary Proceedings:

The Senate was engaged in a heated but sadly partisan debate yesterday on a motion introduced in the House by Senator Komichi regarding what he called “partisan nature of the television and radio broadcasting services in Zimbabwe, the print and electronic media”.

Senator Komichi argued that state-controlled media in the country did not give adequate and fair coverage to other parties in the Global Political Agreement (GPA) as much as they did to ZANU PF. He called for the liberalization of the air waves which will see the emergence of independent radio and television stations in the country, thus giving citizens their democratic and constitutional rights to choose what they want to listen to.

Senator Komichi lambasted state-controlled media for “hate speech and abuse of freedom of the press”. He recommended that the relevant thematic committee should investigate the “unethical and unprofessional activities by the media and report its findings” to the House expeditiously.

However, the motion did not go down well with ZNU PF Senators who argued that “pirate” radio stations did not give fair coverage to their party.

The debate, unfortunately, degenerated into a mudslinging contest as Senators traded accusations against each other along party lines.

Deferment of Presentation of the 2012 National Budget

The Minister of Finance was scheduled to present the 2012 National Budget on Thursday 17 November 2011. However, this has been re-scheduled to Tuesday 22 November 2011 at 2:15 PM.

Adjournment of Parliament

Both Houses adjourned to Tuesday 22 November 2011.

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