Parliament To Axe Non-Performing Committee Chairs

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By Anna Chibamu

NATIONAL Assembly speaker Jacob Mudenda has warned some committee chairpersons within parliament they risked being removed from the influential roles for failure to deliver.

He was responding to Norton MP, Temba Mliswa’s calls for chief whips to investigate why the chairpersons were not discharging their duties satisfactorily.

Equating parliament to a car engine, Mliswa said, “Mr. Speaker Sir, you are the driver, your cylinders are not firing. I do not know how you are going to get to the next point when the cylinders are not firing.

“I implore your good office to task the chief whips to look at the capacity (of MPs) and to look at the work. The reports which come here are not that strong.

“The recommendations which other committees have done before have not been implemented.”

Mliswa added, “It seems some chairpersons have no confidence to discharge their duties according to the Standing Rules and Orders.

“I am wondering, with many things which are happening right now, our committees seem not to be vibrant.

“A lot is happening, and I am wondering what is really happening that is stopping them from discharging their duties.”

Mudenda revealed some three chairpersons had been confronted over the matter and cautioned.

“I am aware honourable Mliswa of three chairpersons that have not been up to scratch and they have been told. If they do not improve, then we stand them down,” he said.

He commended Mliswa for having been one of the best committee chairpersons before he was forced to dump the post under a corruption storm.

“Were it not for the exigencies that happened to you, you were one of the good chairpersons.

“Unfortunately, I hope history and the future will create some opportunity so that you are back in the fold but reformed so that you do not suffer the same exigencies that occurred resulting in your stepping down, but you were one of the good chairpersons.

“There is no doubt about that and you left a very impressive record, in terms of hitting the nail on the head in terms of recommendations.

“I can assure you, we have identified three. If they do not improve, we shall stand them down because they would not be doing good service for parliament, the electorate and the party that proposed them to be chairpersons accordingly,” the speaker said.

Mudenda singled out education committee chair Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga as being one of the most competent and hardworking chairpersons.