‘For­mer prime min­is­ter in­ter­fered’

Observer on Saturday - - News -

Speaker Themba Msibi has re­vealed that the for­mer and now late Prime Min­is­ter Dr. Sibu­siso Dlamini did not re­spect the prin­ci­ple of sep­a­ra­tion of pow­ers.

The late prime min­is­ter and pre­sid­ing of­fi­cers crossed each other’s paths in a num­ber of in­stances.

The At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s Of­fice was asked more than once to pro­vide le­gal opin­ion on the prin­ci­ple of sep­a­ra­tion of pow­ers.

This as­sign­ment was fi­nally set­tled by the in­cum­bent AG Si­fiso Khumalo.

Msibi said a lot of their chal­lenges were as a re­sult of the con­flict be­tween the du­ties of the pre­sid­ing of­fi­cers and the prime min­is­ter be­ing the min­is­ter re­spon­si­ble for Par­lia­ment.

“As pre­sid­ing of­fi­cers we be­lieved in the in­de­pen­dence of Par­lia­ment, but the ac­tions of the prime min­is­ter un­der­mined all that. He im­posed the Par­lia­men­tary Ser­vice Board and in­ter­acted di­rect with the Joint House Com­mit­tee. His keen in­ter­est on Par­lia­ment af­fairs ren­dered the Par­lia­ment Ser­vice Com­mis­sion in­ef­fec­tive and thereby de­lay­ing our trans­for­ma­tion.

“This meant the long stand­ing is­sues of staff wel­fare were unat­tended be­cause we needed clear terms of ser­vices to dis­en­gage our staff from the Pub­lic Ser­vice. “We were un­able to do that willy-nilly be­cause our in­volve­ment was cur­tailed through the of­fice clerk who took in­struc­tions from some­where else,” Msibi lamented.

He said in or­der for Par­lia­ment to func­tion in line with the Con­sti­tu­tion, there is need to amend the law that gives the prime min­is­ter pow­ers to over­see the af­fairs of Par­lia­ment.

“Par­lia­ment is not an ex­ten­sion of the prime min­is­ter’s of­fice but one of the Arms of Gov­ern­ment that should en­joy au­ton­omy.

“We clashed on a num­ber of things with the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment, in­clud­ing the de­mand to de­liver spe­cial mes­sages to the House with­out prop­erly con­sult­ing with the of­fice of the Speaker. “Par­lia­ment needs to work with some­one who will re­spect the sep­a­ra­tion of pow­ers. We will only be in a po­si­tion to ex­er­cise our over­sight as the Leg­is­la­ture if the Ex­ec­u­tive sub­mit to pub­lic scru­tiny through Par­lia­ment,” he said.

Msibi said as a for­mer union­ist, he is the last per­son to un­der­mine work­ers’ is­sues.

“I un­der­stand the frus­tra­tion of Par­lia­ment staff, but the is­sue is that we can­not just do things with­out fol­low­ing proper pro­cesses. If peo­ple need to be pro­moted into new po­si­tions, we must do so with our con­scious clear that those we pro­mote fit the pro­file of the jobs they are ex­pected to per­form. It is not just a copy and paste kind of sit­u­a­tion in terms of roles and func­tions from what they are cur­rently do­ing. When we cre­ate the new posts, it must cor­re­spond with the new terms of ser­vice. Cur­rently, Par­lia­ment Ser­vice Com­mis­sion does not per­form its func­tion as hir­ing is still done by Pub­lic Ser­vice,” Msibi said.

IN­TER­FERED: The late Prime Min­is­ter Dr. Sibu­siso Dlamini.

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