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Roundup Bulletin No. 24 - 2012
Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust
June 07, 2012
Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Professor Arthur Mutambara
put the record straight yesterday during the question and answer
session regarding resolutions
of the SADC Luanda Summit on the election roadmap in Zimbabwe. In
a somewhat surprising turn of events, Hon. Paddy Zhanda (ZANU PF
Goromonzi North) did not attend the sitting yesterday to move his
motion on alleged shady deals by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)
officials as anticipated.
PROCEEDINGS IN THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
and Answer Session on Government Policy Issues
Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Professor Arthur Mutambara
took turns to answer questions from backbenchers and the bulk of
the questions revolved around the issues of violence, the election
roadmap and the resolutions of the SADC Summit held in Luanda, Angola
issue of the election roadmap, Professor Arthur Mutambara noted
that due to media polarization in the country, the public has been
given half-truths by both the public and private media. He informed
the House that SADC enjoined parties in the Global
Political Agreement (GPA) to come back home and finish the implementation
of the outstanding reforms within an agreed time-frame. The parties
will do this with the assistance of the SADC-appointed Facilitator
President Jacob Zuma (South Africa).
Mutambara said since the completion of the implementation of the
outstanding reforms was process-driven; the date of the elections
will be determined by the timelines agreed upon by the GPA parties.
He went on further to discuss various scenarios pertaining to the
date of the election. He said in one scenario, it was possible to
hold elections before the end of the year this year if the parties
cooperate and implement all the outstanding reforms within the next
5 months. He said the worst case scenario may occur if one of the
parties decides to walk away from the GPA and thus collapse the
agreement. Professor Arthur Mutambara said if that happens, the
country will have no choice but to conduct elections without the
implementation of the outstanding reforms. He said the best case
scenario was to give the process adequate time and target June 2013
as the deadline for implementing all the outstanding reforms. He
also warned that if the impasse in the implementation of the reforms
was allowed to go on unresolved until June 2013, the country will
have no choice but to hold elections as the life of the current
parliament is due to expire in June next year.
of Election Date
a question whether or not any one of the GPA parties or principals
had unilateral powers to dictate terms of the election roadmap,
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said that was not possible. He
said Amendment No.
19 of the Constitution
was very clear that decisions pertaining to the provisions of the
GPA had to be made by the Principals in consultation with each other.
This interpretation was also underscored by the resolution of the
SADC Luanda Summit which tasked the three parties in the GPA to
come up with an agreed timeframe for the election roadmap with the
assistance and concurrence of the SADC Facilitator.
On the issue
of violence, Professor Arthur Mutambara informed the House that
government was doing all it could to stamp out this scourge from
our society. He said government expected the Organ on National Healing
Integration and Reconciliation to create conditions of peace and
stability in the country. He said government was also working on
the re-alignment of the security sector towards democratic principles
as part of the outstanding GPA reforms. He also indicated that media
reforms had to be implemented as well so as to deal with the issue
of media polarization which he said was fanning hatred among Zimbabweans.
on the Constitution-making Process
of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs, Hon. Eric Matinenga,
informed the House that it was difficult to give clear-cut timelines
regarding the completion of the constitution
process given that the process was led by 3 parties with different
political views. However he said the first Draft was circulated
to the three parties represented in the GPA to solicit their comments
on contentious issues. The Minister said COPAC has prepared a report
capturing the views of political parties, which report would be
presented to the COPAC Management Committee for consideration with
a view to finalizing the few outstanding issues in the Draft Constitution.
Hon. Matinenga also took the opportunity to dispel false information
peddled by some individuals in the press that the COPAC Drafters
were given a free reign to put their own views in the Constitution.
He said the Drafters prepared the Draft on the instructions of COPAC,
which instructions were based on the views expressed by the people
during the outreach consultation meetings.
Qualifications for Military Cadets
of Defence, Hon. Emmerson Mnangagwa, refuted claims by one of his
Generals, Martin Chedondo who was recently quoted in the press saying
that the military had lowered qualifications for military cadets
so as to recruit soldiers from every village in Zimbabwe. Hon. Mnangagwa
said in the contrary, the army has raised the minimum qualifications
for its recruitees in order to match the standards set by the newly
established Military Academy College in the country. However, in
order to ensure that all the provinces were given equal opportunity
to serve in the military, the minimum requirements may be lowered.
He said this was after a realization that most young people with
the pre-requisites skills in some provinces were in the diaspora
and hence the remaining youths may not have the required minimum
qualifications. He said the army will use this discretion as an
exception not a blanket policy.
of motion on alleged shady operations of RBZ
Zhanda did not move his much anticipated motion on alleged shady
deals by the RBZ as he was not in the House yesterday. It is not
clear why he did not attend yesterday’s sitting but speculation
abound that his party caucus held yesterday morning may have prevailed
on him not to move the motion, for fear that it might expose some
members of the executive.
The notice of
the motion remains on the Order Paper until such a time Hon. Zhanda
debates it or withdraws it from the Order Paper without debate.
It remains to be seen how the issue will unfold. It would, however,
be a very sad development if the motion were to be withdrawn without
debate as it touches on a subject which affected a large number
of people in the country.
Motion on the Death of Hon. Betty Chikava
Mangami (ZANU PF Gokwe) introduced a condolence motion in the House
to pay tribute on the works of Hon. Betty Chikava (ZANU PF Mount
Darwin East) who died in Members expressed sorrow on the passing
on of Hon. Chikava. They described her as a selfless and humble
Member of Parliament who approached issues both in committees and
plenary of the House from an objective and professional manner against
the often partisan approach adopted by some Members of Parliament.
of the First Report of the Education Sport Arts and Culture Committee
of the Portfolio Committee on Education Sport Arts and Culture wound
up debate on the Committee’s report on the tender procedures
regarding the printing of schools text books under the Education
Transitional Fund sponsored by multiple donors. She said that the
Committee stood by its findings that tender procedures were not
properly followed in the awarding of the tender to Longman. Hon.
Mangami also alleged that the Minister of Education Senator David
Coltart and his Permanent Secretary gave conflicting statements
before the Committee and urged the ministry to put its house in
order. The House adopted the report.
Minister’s Question Time
of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs, Hon. Eric Matinenga
gave notice of motion to suspend Standing Orders to bring forward
the Prime Minister’s question time session this month to 20
June as opposed to last Wednesday of the month as currently required
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