ZANU PF ministers avoid question time, again

Zimbabwe parliament has few ministers attending question time

By Mthulisi Mathuthu
SW Radio Africa
04 February 2014

ZANU PF ministers continue to show disdain for Parliament by not attending question and answer sessions, reports said Tuesday.

A Daily News report said only Mines Minister Walter Chidhakwa was present in the Senate chamber for last Thursday’s session, leading to complaints even from some ZANU PF Senators. Senators were forced to restrict their questions to Chidhakwa only.

Only two weeks ago twenty-one questions on the Parliament’s Order Paper were deferred after several ministers failed to turn up for the question and answer session. According to reports this led to an outcry from some MDC MPs who accused the ZANU PF ministers of not taking parliamentary business seriously.

But it appears the ministers still feel no scruples about skipping Parliament, something which has also angered even fellow ZANU PF members.

Last week ZANU PF Senator for Manicaland, Monica Mutsvangwa, expressed her disappointment over the non-attendance of ministers and asked Senate President Edna Madzongwe, to tell the ministers to attend future sessions. According to the Daily News report Madzongwe promised to take up the matter with the leader of the House and Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Ironically, Mnangagwa was in defiant mood over the issue a fortnight ago. On being told by Nelson Chamisa, the MDC-T MP for Kuwadzana, that the absconding ministers were underperforming, Mnangagwa fired back saying it was not the duty of the MDC-T to rate ministers.

Ministers are expected to answer questions from MPs in the National Assembly on Wednesday and Thursday in the Senate. But according to veteran parliamentary reporter Chengetai Zvauya, ZANU PF ministers openly show their disinterest in observing the procedure. Zvauya told SW Radio Africa that leading culprits in the trend of avoiding the parliamentary question time are Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo, Information Minister Jonathan Moyo and Nicholas Goche who is the Minister of Transport.

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