CCC legislators in trouble

FOR boycotting the official opening of the 10th Parliament by President Mnangagwa in Mount Hampden yesterday, CCC legislators will have their travel allowances forfeited and their accommodation costs deducted from their salaries after the Speaker of the National Assembly, Advocate Jacob Mudenda, invoked Parliament’s Standing Orders to bring the errant parliamentarians to order.

During the official opening of the 10th Parliament, President Mnangagwa laid out the legislative agenda for the next five years and also delivered a State of the Nation Address (SONA) in front of legislators from the ruling Zanu PF party, who are the majority, and also diplomats accredited to Zimbabwe.

Addressing legislators in the Chamber soon after the official opening, Adv Mudenda said CCC legislators were in violation of Parliament’s Standing Orders of both the National Assembly and Senate.

“It is therefore clear that there have been some violations of those Standing Orders. Members of the CCC have come to Harare after Parliament was summoned by His Excellency, the President and have stayed in hotels and have been given and facilitated their travel to Harare.

“Therefore, there have been violations of these Standing Orders and in terms of powers invested in me as Speaker, I instruct the Clerk of Parliament to ensure that CCC members will not receive their coupons to go back home,” said Adv Mudenda.

“Secondly, their stay in hotels at the taxpayers’ generosity and commitment will be deducted from their salaries. I further request the Leader of Government Business to look into the Political Parties Finance Act to find out whether further sanctions cannot be applied.”

In an interview, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, who is Leader of Government Business in Parliament, said CCC legislators had no legitimate reasons for boycotting Parliament.

“If they continue boycotting they will cease to be Honourable Members of Parliament, so it is up to them. The elections are done and dusted, they were sworn in which means it was an admission that the process (harmonised elections) was correct. So we are not aware why they did not turn up. We feel that their absence is not significant, we are now moving forward with setting up relevant committees,” said Minister Ziyambi.

Commenting on the speech delivered by President Mnangagwa, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Dr Jenfan Muswere, said the Head of State and Government was spot on when he urged legislators to expedite Bills.

“The President emphasised that legislators have to expedite Bills which also include amendments to the Broadcasting Services Act. It is very important that we have an informed society,” said Minister Muswere.

He said the Second Republic had registered several achievements in different sectors.

“There has been legislative reforms that have been done by the Second Republic, they include the repeal of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, we have also passed the Cyber and Data Protection Act, we have a new ICT Policy, there has been utilisation and convergence of ICT and broadcasting services and the whole of Government approach,” said Minister Muswere.

Botswana Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mrs Sarah Sithabile Molosiwa, said she was excited by President Mnangagwa’s pronouncement that the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Act will be amended to include Botswana as one of the countries that had transit camps during the country’s liberation struggle.

“We want to thank the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe for considering Botswana after so many years, probably four decades, to be among the list of countries that participated in the liberation of Zimbabwe. If you remember in the history of Botswana, we have soldiers who died at the borders during the war of liberation in Zimbabwe. We might not have been able to fight physically but we contributed in some way, we accommodated freedom fighters on their way to Mozambique and Zambia, so we appreciate what His Excellency the President has done,” said Mrs Molosiwa.

Zanu PF spokesperson, Cde Chris Mutsvangwa, who is also the Minister of War Veterans, said Zimbabweans now want food on the table and that is what the Second Republic will deliver.

“They (CCC) are like wolves howling to the moon. We couldn’t care less if they want to be in Parliament or not, we will carry on with our duties to ensure there is prosperity in Zimbabwe. Long gone are the days of politics of boycotting, people want food on their table, people want jobs, people want all the services so that Government can deliver prosperity which so many people sacrificed for, that is what we are focused on,” said Cde Mutsvangwa.


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