MDC MP confronts ‘poor quality’ minister

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Anna Chibamu

MDC Chief Whip Prosper Mutseyami Thursday urged President Emmerson Mnangagwa to fully consider knowledgeable ministers who are well equipped to represent him in different cabinet ministries.

This was in parliament after a fellow MP, Mpofu had asked Tourism and Hospitality minister Prisca Mupfumira on government’s devolution policy.

“In the context of the government’s thrust on devolution, what is the government policy on decentralising the issuing of fishing licence permits to Rural District Councils or ZIMPARKS Provincial Offices?”

In her response, Minister Mupfumira ordered Mpofu to put his question in writing.

This did not go down well with him leading to the speaker Jacob Mudenda asking the minister to elaborate.

Mupfumira then responded, “What I am saying is that the Bill (Devolution) has not yet come to Parliament. It is still in the process of being made and we are receiving submissions. We are still receiving submissions about the devolution.

“We are still receiving submissions, hence my request that he puts it in writing so that it may be included in the devolution process.”

But Mutseyami was not impressed as other MPs interjected over what they found to be a poor response by Mupfumira.

“With all due respect, we have managed to keep quiet so that business continues after we had been advised that five Ministers are managing Cyclone Idai in Chimanimani. But now Mr. Speaker, the responsibility of appointing Ministers lies with the President of this country.

“If we manage with this level of quality bearing in mind what we are going through as a country, it must be put on record that we are working as parliamentarians for the good of the nation under a new dispensation and we expect all the best from the dispensation that is happening in this country.

“I beg and plead to have the best from the quality of Ministers. We do not want drama here. We are not here for comedy. This is serious Government business.

“We cannot allow this. No! Mr. Speaker, you must raise our complaint to the attention of His Excellency so that this thing will be addressed as a matter of urgency for the good of this country. We need quality. We need the best for this country to have better results,” said the MDC MP.

Leader of government business, Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi defended Mupfumira’s response.

“The honourable Minister was correct that the devolution process needs legislation to give effect to it and before that has happened and is finalized, there is no way she can answer over a policy that is non-existent.

“What we are seized with at the moment is to the Minister of Local Government is busy putting in place legislation that will ensure that we give effect to that process.

“I do not see issues of competence or otherwise arising on a matter that we are still deliberating on to ensure that once that Bill comes here, we have clear guidelines as to how it is going to happen,” said Ziyambi.