Ziyambi spot on, say an­a­lysts

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Zva­maida Mur­wira Se­nior Re­porter

Prof Ncube’s in­ter­ven­tion came as a lo­cal busi­ness leader, Mr Joseph Mtizwa, made a for­mal ap­pear­ance at the sub-com­mit­tee and made an im­pas­sioned plea for the re­moval of sanc­tions im­posed by the US and other Western coun­tries on Zim­babwe.

Other tes­ti­monies came from Deputy As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary of State for Africa Mr Matthew Har­ring­ton and Dr Todd J. Moss, an aca­demic. In his pa­per ti­tled, “State of the

LE­GAL and po­lit­i­cal an­a­lysts yes­ter­day threw their weight be­hind Jus­tice, Le­gal and Par­lia­men­tary Af­fairs Min­is­ter Ziyambi Ziyambi’s call for Gov­ern­ment min­is­ters to de­cline re­spond­ing to ques­tions from MDC-Al­liance leg­is­la­tors un­til they ac­knowl­edged Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa as Head of State and Gov­ern­ment.

Re­spond­ing to an at­tempt by MDC-Al­liance leg­is­la­tors to pose ques­tions in the Na­tional Assem­bly on Wed­nes­day, Min­is­ter Ziyambi said the time had come for min­is­ters to start de­clin­ing to re­spond to ques­tions from op­po­si­tion back­benchers un­til they recog­nised Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa won the July 30 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

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 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.

In an in­ter­view yes­ter­day, Zanu-PF Sec­re­tary for Le­gal Af­fairs Cde Mun­yaradzi Paul Mang­wana said Min­is­ter Ziyambi was right in mak­ing that state­ment.

“The stance by Min­is­ter Ziyambi is cor­rect. Min­is­ters rep­re­sent the Pres­i­dent. They are agents of the Pres­i­dent. If MDC MPs do not recog­nise the Pres­i­dent they can­not be seen ask­ing ques­tions to them. That’s hypocrisy,” said Cde Mang­wana.

“We can­not con­tinue with this child­ish be­hav­iour. You want to en­gage the min­is­ters but you do not recog­nise the ap­point­ing au­thor­ity.”

Lawyer Jonathan Sa­mukange said Min­is­ter Ziyambi was both po­lit­i­cally and legally cor­rect.

“Min­is­ter Ziyambi is right both from a le­gal and po­lit­i­cal per­spec­tive. Both views con­verge. The Pres­i­dent is part of Par­lia­ment be­cause he has a role in the law-mak­ing process when he as­sents to a Bill. So, you can­not say on one hand you recog­nise the Na­tional Assem­bly and Se­nate but you do not want to recog­nise the Pres­i­dent, who is part of Par­lia­ment,” said Cde Sa­mukange, who is also Mudzi South con­stituency rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

He said the Pres­i­dent could even take dis­ci­plinary ac­tion against his min­is­ters for “con­nivance” if they en­gaged MDC Al­liance leg­is­la­tors while the op­po­si­tion back­benchers were re­fus­ing to recog­nise him.

“I do not know where they are de­riv­ing their au­thor­ity from. If they have any griev­ances they should be ad­dressed out­side Par­lia­ment through their leader, Mr Nel­son Chamisa. In law, we say you can­not have your cake and eat it. What they are do­ing is a con­tra­dic­tion,” said Cde Sa­mukange.

An­other an­a­lyst, Mr Ti­no­mu­daishe Chinyoka, de­scribed the MDC Al­liance leg­is­la­tors as hyp­ocrites.

“There is a rea­son for that hypocrisy. They want to jus­tify their salaries in Par­lia­ment but when they are out­side they will tell their sup­port­ers that the Pres­i­dent is il­le­git­i­mate. Min­is­ter Ziyambi was spot on,” said Mr Chinyoka.

“If you look at Fi­nance Min­is­ter Pro­fes­sor Mthuli Ncube, he was ap­pointed by the Pres­i­dent from out­side Par­lia­ment. He presents a Na­tional Bud­get for their salaries and they are ready to ac­cept that salary al­lo­cated to them by Prof Ncube whose prin­ci­pal they do not want to recog­nise. What hypocrisy!”

Dur­ing the sit­ting on Wed­nes­day, Zengeza West MP Mr Job Sikhala sought to jus­tify why they were ask­ing ques­tions to min­is­ters claim­ing that they were paid by tax­pay­ers.

“I would like to say that the Leader of the House is a le­gal prac­ti­tioner, he is a lawyer. Mr Speaker Sir, he knows in terms of the law that there is a de jure and a de facto Pres­i­dent. In terms of the Con­sti­tu­tion Mr Speaker Sir, min­is­ters are pub­lic ser­vants who are us­ing tax­pay­ers’ money which is the over­sight of this House. So, we are en­ti­tled as long as they are draw­ing from the pub­lic purse to ask them ques­tions in this House,” said Mr Sikhala.

— (Pic­ture by In­no­cent Makawa)

Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa re­ceives a to­ken of ap­pre­ci­a­tion from Messrs Mike Ka­mun­geremu and Golden Muoni dur­ing the Zim­babwe Na­tional Cham­ber of Com­merce 4th An­nual Busi­ness Re­view Con­fer­ence, while In­dus­try and Com­merce Min­is­ter Man­gal­iso Ndlovu and ZNCC pres­i­dent Mr Ta­muka Macheka (right) look on in Harare yes­ter­day.

Mr Sa­mukange

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