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Charge truant ministers – Senate president

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By Matabeleland North Correspondent


SENATE president Mabel Chinomona wants Parliament to take stern action against Ministers who continuously snub the legislature’s sessions.

In her closing remarks at the pre-budget seminar in Victoria Falls on Friday, Chinomona, who is Zanu PF Women’s League secretary, said the economic challenges facing the country require collective contribution from both executive and the legislature. She accused the Ministers of undermining Parliament business deliberately.

“Let me from the onset speak out against Ministers who do not attend these events. There are Ministers who continue to send permanent secretaries, principal and chief directors yet it would be more important that the executive and legislature come together to chat a way forward. We don’t expect this behaviour to continue and action should be taken going forward,” said Chinomona to applause by MPs.

She said both Members of Parliament and the Executive are “servants of our people and we have the duty to come together and solve the challenges that beset of our nation.”

Her sentiments followed concerns by Members of Parliament including National Assembly Speaker Jacob Mudenda at the same occasion who questioned the absence of most Cabinet Ministers.

Those who came under attack included Women’s Affairs Minister Sithembiso Nyoni who was represented by director Evan Dumba, Sports’ Kirsty Coventry represented by her deputy Yeukai Simbanegavi and Sibusiso Moyo of Foreign Affairs who had permanent secretary James Manzou standing in for him while Paul Mavhima of Primary and Secondary Education sent his deputy Edgar Moyo.

During proceedings, MPs quizzed the representatives about their bosses’ whereabouts.

Simbanegavi said Coventry was in South Africa attending a meeting in preparation for the Olympics games while Manzou said Moyo was also outside the country on national duty.

Nyoni, who came under attack after her director reported that the Ministry had failed to get people qualified to be ward development coordinators in her own province of Matabeleland North, was also said to be outside the country.

Parliamentarians said Nyoni had snubbed Parliament sessions since she was reappointed.