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Roundup Bulletin No. 38 - 2011
Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust
November 24, 2011
of Assembly Members spent the entire segment of Questions without
Notice on Wednesday 23 November “grilling” the Deputy
Prime Minister Professor Arthur Mutambara over their allowances
and welfare issues. The House of Assembly also passed the Economic
Partnership Agreement and the Coffee Agreement. The Senate adopted
a motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.
House of Assembly Plenary Proceedings:
In a rare show
of unity backbenchers across the political divide attacked the executive
over their outstanding sitting allowances. Deputy Prime Minister
Mutambara was put on the spotlight as Members demanded to know why
the Executive decided to pay their sitting allowances staring this
November instead of backdating them to August 2008 when they were
sworn-in as Members of Parliament for the Seventh Session.
The issue of
Member’s allowances has been outstanding since 2008. However,
Political Agreement (GPA) Principals recently pegged the sitting
allowance for Members at $75 per sitting with effect of November
above, Members spent the entire session on questions without notice
posing questions to Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara on issues to
do with their welfare. Members were in no mood to discuss other
issues except the issue of their allowances. Hon. Matimba and Hon.
Dumbu suffered the wrath of their colleagues for posing questions
to the Ministers of Mines and Mining Development and Education Sport
Art and Culture, respectively.
accused the Executive of belittling them as compared to members
of the other arms of the state; Ministers and Judges whom they said
were well-looked after by the state.
made an undertaking to discuss the matter with his two colleagues;
President Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai, and bring finality
to the issue. He promised to report back to the backbenchers on
Wednesday next week.
Regarding Students Loans and Grants
Sibanda (MDC-T Bulawayo Central) asked the Minister of Higher and
Tertiary Education to explain to the House the current government
policy regarding tertiary student loans and grants. In response,
Hon. Dr. Mudenge said government abolished the policy in 2007 due
fiscal constraints. Government then replaced this policy with the
Students Cadetship Programme, which was meant to assist students
from poor backgrounds. But even with this programme, government
did not have adequate resources to cater for all the deserving applicants.
He said his ministry was sitting on more than 50 000 applications
from students across the tertiary institutions in the country who
had applied for the scheme but treasury was still yet to release
of Text books in South Africa
Mudarikwa (ZANU PF Uzumba) questioned the Minister of Education
Sports Arts and Culture why the publishing companies that won a
tender to print secondary school text books were printing them in
South Africa not Zimbabwe. Deputy Minister Lazarus Dokora said it
was the publishers’ choice to do so as they wanted to ensure
that the product met recommended quality standards.
Regarding Sexual Relationships between Teachers and Students
Mudarikwa (ZANU PF Uzumba) asked the Minister of Education Sports
Arts and Culture to explain to the House the policy regarding improper
relationships between teachers and female students in light of Uzumba
High School, Mr. Blessing Kadungure who was found intimate with
female student. Deputy Minister Lazarus Dokora said such disciplinary
matters were governed by the Public Service Commission regulations
of conduct. He said the initial step was that the culprit was suspended
for a period of 3 months pending investigations. Hon. Dokora said
with Blessing Kadungure has since been discharged from the Civil
Ratification of Agreements
The House of
Assembly ratified the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) which
was signed in Mauritius on 29th August 2009 at a signing ceremony
between the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) and the European Union
(EU) and the International Coffee Agreement concluded in London,
United Kingdom on 28th September 2007 at the Conference convened
by the International Coffee Organization (ICO).
agreements were ratified in fulfillment of subsection (1) of section
111B of the Constitution
Senate Plenary Proceedings:
The Senate adopted
a motion in reply to Presidential Speech. In winding up his motion,
Senator Simon Khaya Moyo took the opportunity to clarify his statement
on violence which the press wrapped him for the previous week. He
said he was against violence but maintained his stance that if one
is attacked he or she has the right of self-defence. He said the
private media, in particular the Newsday, was unfair to him in the
manner they covered the story. He urged the media to always uphold
media ethics and professionalism.
On a lighter
note, he extended his party’s congratulation to Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai who recently “marriage” to his new
wife. However, this did not go down well with MDC-T Senators and
compelled Senator Moyo to withdraw his statement before his motion
could be adopted.
of the 2012 National Budget
of Finance is scheduled to present the 2012 National Budget this
afternoon at 2.45 pm, after two failed attempts.
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