Mnangagwa gives Mudenda teeth to “bite’ truant MPs

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By Anna Chibamu

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has given Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda the greenlight to punish MPs who consistently absent themselves from Parliament.

During a question and answer session on Wednesday, Mudenda told members of the house that he had written twice to Mnangagwa raising concern about growing absenteeism among lawmakers.

“I have written twice to his Excellency President Robert Mugabe about non-attendance of Parliament business by members.

“This behaviour is appalling and pathetic. May I advice them that Parliament will charge them accordingly as the President has responded to this matter,” Mudenda warned.

Only three Cabinet Ministers who included Leader of Government business in Parliament Ziyambi Ziyambi, Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa, Industry and Commerce Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu were present on Wednesday and a few deputies were available.

Mudenda has in the past urged members to take house business seriously as debates that take place have a serious bearing on the nation.

In previous debates, opposition members of Parliament such as Zengeza West MP Job Sikhala, Norton MP Temba Mliswa, MDC Chief whip Prosper Mutseyami, Kambuzuma MP Willias Madzimure and Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya have raised concerns over the unavailability of Cabinet Ministers who are supposed to answer policy questions from members.