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Roundup Bulletin No. 44 - 2011
Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust
December 16, 2011
The Zvoma motion
continued to hog the limelight in the House
of Assembly as ZANU PF Members walked out during debate. The
Speaker made a ruling on the procedural issues raised by ZANU PF
on Wednesday during the debate on the motion. The Prime Minister,
Hon. Morgan Tsvangirai delivered his year-end ministerial statement
on the state of the nation. Hon. Settlement Chikwinya concluded
his motion calling for the dissolution of the Broadcasting Authority
of Zimbabwe and the cancellation of licences issued to Talk Radio
and AB Communications.
House of Assembly
Ruling on Mr. Zvoma’s Court Interdict
of the House of Assembly, Hon. Lovemore Moyo, made a ruling on procedural
arguments raised by ZANU PF Members on Wednesday 14 December when
debating the motion calling for the dismissal of the Clerk of Parliament,
Mr. Austin Zvoma. ZANU PF Members had sought to block the debate
on the motion raising the sub-judice rule as they argued that the
matter was in court.
In his ruling,
the Speaker said a matter referred to in Standing Order No. 62(d)
was one where pleadings have been closed and all parties to the
case have submitted their arguments to the court, and awaits the
judge’s decision. The mere filing of a court application is
insufficient to warrant the invocation of Standing Order No. 62(d).”
He noted that if the Speaker were to expunge motions on the Order
Paper on the basis of someone having merely filed a court application,
the House would never conduct any business. The Speaker further
informed the House that Parliament had not in any event received
a court order barring debate on the motion.
argument by ZANU PF MPs that he should recuse himself from presiding
over the Zvoma debate, Hon. Moyo said “the reasons put forward
seeking the Speaker’s recusal are insufficient for such action
because the motion refers to the flawed election process, not the
officer elected as a result thereof.” He further noted that
since the court application cited the Speaker and all the Chairs
of the House were cited in the court application, that left an untenable
situation that no presiding officer could chair over the debate
of the motion.
argued that the matter before the House related to internal procedures
of the Legislative Arm of Government and therefore unwarranted interference
in these internal processes seriously undermined the authority and
integrity of the Legislative arm of Government, and compromised
the Doctrine of Separation of Powers.
of the Motion on the Dismissal of Zvoma
During the debate
on this motion, ZANU PF Members walked out of the House after procedural
disagreements with their counterparts on the motion to dismiss the
Clerk of Parliament. Firstly, ZANU PF Members insisted that the
motion was sub-judice and therefore it should not be debated. Secondly,
they argued that Mr. Zvoma should have been given a right of reply
before the motion was debated in the House not the other way round,
which Hon. Mushonga sought to do with his amendment to the original
proposed that before Parliament could take a vote on the dismissal
of Mr. Zvoma, a panel of 5 Members be set up to hear his side of
the story in view of the allegations raised against him by Hon.
Tshuma. The Special five-member committee will make recommendations
to the full House on its findings whether to immediately terminate
the Clerk of Parliament's contract of employment, to suspend him
without pay for a period of time, to demote him or to reprimand
The House (minus
ZANU PF Members) adopted Tshuma’s motion together with Hon.
What is left
now is for the Standing Rules and Orders Committee to set up a 5-Member
Committee to look into the allegations leveled against Mr. Zvoma
by Hon. Tshuma and table a report in the House for the resolution
of the issue.
of the Motion on the Dissolution of BAZ
The House adopted
a motion by Hon. Settlement Chikwinya calling for the dissolution
of the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ). During Hon. Chikwinya’s
debate to wind up his motion, Hon. Simbaneuta Mudarikwa (ZANU PF
Uzumba) raised a point of order and alleged the Speaker misled the
House when he said the Standing Rules and Orders Committee did not
submit any nominees for the appointment to the BAZ Board. Hon. Mudarikwa
claimed to be in possession of a letter signed by the Speaker recommending
parliament’s nominees for appointment to the BAZ Board. However,
the Deputy Speaker ruled Hon. Mudarikwa out of order and advised
him to move a motion to prove his allegations against the Speaker.
It remains to
be seen whether what Hon. Chikwinya sought to achieve through his
motion will be implemented by the executive since the motion has
been adopted by Parliament. Usually before a motion can be adopted
by Parliament, the Minister whose department is the subject-matter
of the motion is required to respond to issues raised by backbenchers
on the motion. It is not clear why Hon. Chikwinya rushed to conclude
debate on the motion before the Minister of Media Information and
Publicity could respond.
Minister’s Address to Parliament
Morgan Tsvangirai addressed the House of Assembly yesterday on the
state of the nation. He said the purpose of his address was to give
feedback to the House on programmes that government had been implementing
during the course of the year.
the House that the implementation of programmes was affected mainly
by lack of unity of purpose by coalition
government members. However, he said despite factors militating
against the full implementation of the Global
Political Agreement (GPA), the inclusive government managed
to register some positive achievements; for example, stabilization
of the economy, improvements in the education and health sectors.
The Prime Minister underscored the fact that had it not been for
the discord in the full implementation of the GPA, the inclusive
government would have made a lot of achievements.
The Prime Minister
informed the House that some Ministers had blatantly refused to
cooperate and he singled out the Minister of Media, Information
and Publicity, Hon. Webster Shamu. The Prime Minister informed the
House that Minister Shamu was given a directive by the Cabinet and
the Principals to re-constitute the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe
(BAZ) but had not done so up to this day.
Tsvangirai bemoaned the slow pace regarding the implementation of
the legislative agenda. He said only 7 Bills were introduced in
parliament in the 3rd Session out of the 24 outlined by the President
when he officially opened that session. He made assurances to the
House that the executive will follow-up on all outstanding legislation
in the coming year.
of the House of Assembly
The House of
Assembly adjourned to Tuesday 28 February 2012 the same date the
Senate is resuming its business. However Committees of both House
will resume their business on Monday 16 January 2012.
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