Chiwenga’s absence from Parliament irks opposition MPs; I haven’t seen him since March – says CCC’s Hwende

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By Staff Reporter

VICE President and Health Minister, Constantino Chiwenga’s absence from Parliament has been questioned by opposition MPs.

During the question and answer session Wednesday, Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) MP, Charlton Hwende told the august House he had never seen the VP in attendance, and was worried as various health issues were going unanswered due to his absence.

“I need clarity regarding the Honourable Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, Hon. C. G. D. N. Chiwenga, since I was elected as a m Member of Parliament in March, I have never seen him in this House,” said Hwende.

“We have a lot of issues that we want to ask him concerning the health of the nation. Since March, now we are in October, our term of office is going to expire before we even meet him. My question is: is he still the Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care or he is now out of office?”

Deputy Speaker, Tsitsi Gezi responded Chiwenga still held both his posts.

“I would like to inform you that the Honourable Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care is still in office,” Gezi said.


Hwende’s sentiments were shared by other opposition MPs, who were shouting over the VP’s failure to attend Parliament business.

The VP’s absence from many government assignments/duties has been a cause of concern to both lawmakers and the public at large, as he has been represented by his deputy John Mangwiro at both local and international level.

Harare North CCC MP, Markham also condemned the ministers for not attending Wednesday’s session, which is crucial for house members as it was the day during which they ask questions relating to national interest issues.

“Only a handful of apologies were read out but I can only see one Honourable Minister in this House and I would like to make that point of clarity for the people on Zoom that the only Honourable Minister attending is the Minister of Transport and the media as well should understand that on the apologies that have come in, there is an assumption that they are in the House, but there is only one Honourable Minister in the House today,” Markham said.

On Wednesday, Transport Minister Felix Mhona came for Parly business and the leader of Government business in Parliament, Ziyambi Ziyambi had to respond to a host of questions from both benches.

Some other questions had to be deferred as legislators were asked to put them in writing.

Only a handful of Cabinet ministers excused themselves, but still the rest did not turn up.

The VP, Defence Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Paul Mavima (Public Service); Evelyn Ndlovu (Education), Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe and his deputy Mavhungu-Maboyi; Tertiary Education Minister Aaron Murwira, Winston Chitando (Mines), Treasury Chief Mthuli Ncube and his deputy Clemence Chiduwa; Kirsty Coventry (Sports); Information, Monica Mutsvangwa; Local Government, July Moyo; Foreign Affairs, Frederick Shava and his deputy David Musabayana gave apologies to Gezi.