VP Mnan­gagwa raps MDC MPs over Par­lia­ment de­mands

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Zva­maida Mur­wira Harare Bureau

VICE-PRES­I­DENT Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa has rapped MDC-T leg­is­la­tors for con­tin­u­ously de­mand­ing that all Cab­i­net min­is­ters at­tend Par­lia­ment de­spite there be­ing deputy min­is­ters and some min­is­ters in the Cham­ber at all times.

In an in­ter­view last week, VP Mnan­gagwa said the pub­lic pos­tur­ing by the op­po­si­tion leg­is­la­tors was meant to please their han­dlers.

Ques­tion time in Par­lia­ment on Wed­nes­days has of­ten been dis­rupted by MDC-T law­mak­ers who launch protests over the num­ber of min­is­ters in the House.

But VP Mnan­gagwa said there was no jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for MDC-T MPs to raise those com­plaints or make such de­mands.

“Min­is­ters are Hon­ourable Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment and in my view are re­spon­si­ble per­sons,” he said. “Most min­is­ters have deputies. I have no doubt that the deputies un­der­stand the pol­icy of the min­istry for which they are deputies. So, the ques­tion time is an is­sue of pol­icy and not of statis­tics.

“Ques­tion time is about what is the pol­icy, the di­rec­tion, the vi­sion (of a min­istry). How would you have a deputy who does not know what his min­istry is do­ing and where it in­tends to go? In many cases, the min­is­ters would be en­gaged else­where, but their deputies would be there.

“But in most cases at least six or eight min­is­ters would be in the Cham­ber and above all, I come. I cover (as Leader of Gov­ern­ment Busi­ness) all min­istries, it does not matter which one, in terms of pol­icy; I would be able to an­swer.”

VP Mnan­gagwa said the ten­dency to blame Gov­ern­ment min­is­ters was in most cases un­fair.

“It is the op­po­si­tion (which does that) but that is their duty; I do not blame them, that is their duty to crit­i­cise,” he said. “If there are no min­is­ters, they can make the noise and it passes, be­cause their con­stituency must know that they are talk­ing, so they must talk, but there have been no ques­tions that have gone unan­swered.”

On his party, VP Mnan­gagwa said he re­minded min­is­ters dur­ing Cab­i­net meet­ings ev­ery Tues­day of the need to at­tend Par­lia­ment the fol­low­ing day.

“Ev­ery Tues­day I re­mind my col­leagues in Cab­i­net that the next day, Wed­nes­day, there will be ques­tion time, so most min­sters who are able to come will do so, but those who are com­mit­ted else­where will make sure that their deputies are there,” he said.

“But you find that mem­bers of the op­po­si­tion may not want deputy min­is­ters to an­swer, they want the par­tic­u­lar min­is­ter to an­swer. This is democ­racy, they are al­lowed to make noise.”

VP Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa

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