Speaker warns MPs to take Parliament business seriously

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By Anna Chibamu

A day after Labour Minister, Sekai Nzenza came unstuck in the National Assembly while introducing a Bill, Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda has warned MPs to take the August House’s business seriously.

Confusion rocked the National Assembly on Tuesday, after Nzenza fumbled during the presentation of the Tripartite Negotiating Forum Bill.

Addressing the MPs before a routine Question and Answer session on Wednesday, Mudenda said there was lack of preparedness by MPs.

“There is lack of preparedness by members of Parliament in terms checking progress of issues and Order Papers from the Parliament website as well as other sources. Take your work seriously because the apathy that took place yesterday was totally unacceptable.

“This is taxpayer’s money with which you will be paid after your sittings in this House,” fumed Mudenda.

Besides Nzenza’s fumbling, most lawmakers have shown a lack of preparedness and when Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi sought to introduce debate on the Companies and Other Business Entities Bill (H.B. 8, 2018), MDC vice national chairman and Harare East MP, TendaI Biti pleaded for time arguing his colleagues were seized with the opposition party’s congress.

The National Assembly is currently sitting on more than 20 notices of motions, which the MPs moved forward to April promising they would be debated but there has been little progress thus far.

Parliament adjourned on March 21 and opened this week.

On Tuesday, Mudenda promised that the National Assembly would push for re-alignment of laws to the new Constitution and speed up any that have been lined up for amendments.

The Speaker also challenged senior MPs to tolerate and respect those who are new in Parliament as many blunders continue to be seen from those who joined the legislature after last year’s general elections.

“Some members are new and they are in the learning process. Give them enough space to learn the processes of Parliament,” said Mudenda.