Ziyambi slams MDC MPs’ hypocrisy

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Zva­maida Mur­wira Se­nior Re­porter

JUS­TICE, Le­gal and Par­lia­men­tary Af­fairs Min­is­ter Ziyambi Ziyambi yes­ter­day ac­cused MDC-Al­liance House of As­sem­bly rep­re­sen­ta­tives of hypocrisy for de­mand­ing to have Cab­i­net min­is­ters at­tend Par­lia­ment to re­spond to their ques­tions when they did not want to recog­nise the ap­point­ing au­thor­ity.

Min­is­ter Ziyambi said the time had come for min­is­ters to start de­clin­ing to re­spond to ques­tions from op­po­si­tion back­benchers un­til they recog­nised Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa who won the July 30 har­monised elec­tions.

His re­marks fol­lowed an in­ci­dent re­cently in which MDC-Al­liance law­mak­ers re­fused to stand up as the Head of State and Gov­ern­ment walked into the au­gust House to fol­low the 2019 Na­tional Bud­get State­ment that was pre­sented by Fi­nance and Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Pro­fes­sor Mthuli Ncube.

The MDC-Al­liance law­mak­ers also de­clined to ac­com­pany Speaker of the Na­tional As­sem­bly Ad­vo­cate Ja­cob Mu­denda and Se­nate Pres­i­dent Cde Ma­bel Chi­nomona to State House where the pre­sid­ing of­fi­cers were of­fi­cially in­tro­duc­ing them­selves to Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa fol­low­ing their elec­tion.

Only the leader of op­po­si­tion in the Se­nate, En­gi­neer Elias Mudzuri ac­com­pa­nied pre­sid­ing of­fi­cers but was at the re­ceiv­ing end of a back­lash from his col­leagues who openly dressed him down at a lo­cal ho­tel.

“Min­is­ters, ac­cord­ing to the Con­sti­tu­tion, are ap­pointed by the Pres­i­dent and serve at the plea­sure of the Pres­i­dent. The Hon­ourable Mem­bers do not recog­nise the Pres­i­dent. We can­not con­tinue in this House with hyp­ocrites. You can­not on one hand refuse to recog­nise the Pres­i­dent but on the other want to ask ques­tions to the same min­is­ters ap­pointed by the Pres­i­dent,” said Min­is­ter Ziyambi.

Re­spond­ing to an­other ques­tion, Higher and Ter­tiary Ed­u­ca­tion, Science and Tech­nol­ogy Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Pro­fes­sor Amos Mur­wira said they had stopped fund­ing Ad­vanced Level stu­dents study­ing Science Tech­nol­ogy, En­gi­neer­ing and Math­e­mat­ics say­ing his min­istry’s man­date was to take care of ter­tiary stu­dents.

He said “A” Level stu­dents were han­dled by a dif­fer­ent min­istry and us­ing STEM funds for high school pupils was im­proper.

Kwekwe Cen­tral MP Mr Masango Matam­banadzo (Na­tional Pa­tri­otic Front) had asked why Gov­ern­ment had stopped fund­ing “A” Level stu­dents.

“We will con­tinue pro­vid­ing schol­ar­ships un­der STEM. The idea of help­ing ‘A’ Level stu­dents was not proper. We stopped it. Money was be­ing abused,” said Prof Mur­wira.

He said a foren­sic au­dit con­ducted on STEM un­earthed ram­pant abuse of the fund which even­tu­ally saw them re­vert­ing to its man­date whic ex­cludes sup­port to “A” Level pupils.

En­ergy and Power Devel­op­ment Deputy Min­is­ter Magna Mudyiwa said Gov­ern­ment was mak­ing fran­tic ef­forts to en­sure that enough fuel was avail­able dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son.

“Fuel is now get­ting to sev­eral sta­tions and we will con­tinue to en­sure that the sit­u­a­tion re­turns to nor­mal,” she told leg­is­la­tors dur­ing a ten­sion-filled sit­ting.

Yes­ter­day’s sit­ting was char­ac­terised by heck­ling and trad­ing of ac­cu­sa­tions and counter-ac­cu­sa­tions.

At one stage pro­ceed­ings came to stand­still for about 10 min­utes as Buhera South MP Cde Joseph Chino­timba and leader of the op­po­si­tion Ms Tabitha Khu­malo en­gaged in a slang­ing match which saw other law­mak­ers join­ing the fray, thereby dis­rupt­ing ques­tion time.

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