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MPs at it again, waste time, taxpayers’ money

...Parliament sits for one hour only

By Daniel Chigundu

With about three months left to complete the legislative agenda that was set for the First Session of the 9th Parliament of Zimbabwe which started on the 18th of September 2018, legislators continue to waste time through early House adjournments.

According to legal watchdog Veritas Zimbabwe, the only Bills that have been passed since September are the two routine Budget Bills leaving about 30 Bills on the legislative agenda

Parliament resumed sitting today (Tuesday 7 May) from a long break to face a thickening Order Paper but only decided to sit for an hour before deciding to adjourn to tomorrow.

Despite the adjourning early, the legislators are entitled to their full $75 in sitting allowance for the day,

The decision to adjourn is also contrary to calls by the Speaker Jacob Mudenda for legislators to stay longer in the House to try and deal with House business.

In his opening remarks, Mudenda said “may I take this opportunity to welcome you all to this session and appeal to you to remain in the House as much as possible.

“We have a very long legislative agenda which we should try as much as possible without compromising quality assurance that we complete the task before us.

“So I appeal to you to stay in the House, debate as much as possible and conclude the business of the House to the best of our advantage and interest,’ he said.

Parliament is expected to sit nine times from the 7th of May to the 23rd May in accordance with the agreed sitting calendar and according to Veritas Zimbabwe; the National Assembly has so far sat on for 45 days since the official opening of Parliament.

Meanwhile, Veritas Zimbabwe says there are about seven Bills that are likely to come up for attention in the month of May; five of them were on the legislative agenda which was delivered by President Emmerson Mnangagwa while the other two were not.

Veritas Zimbabwe said “that five of the Bills are from the legislative agenda is encouraging, but as pointed out in previous bulletins, the government is running out of time to pass the other twenty-five Bills on its agenda by the end of this Parliamentary session,” it said.

The seven Bills expected to come for attention in the House are: Companies and Other Business Entities Bill and Tripartite Negotiating Forum Bill (these Bills are now at Second Reading stage), Consumer Protection Bill, Microfinance Amendment Bill and Education Amendment Bill (have been give non-adverse reports by the PLC) while Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency Bill and the Maintenance of Peace and Order Bill (are waiting presentation and First Reading)

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Daniel Chigundu

Daniel Chigundu is a male journalist in Zimbabwe and has been practising since September 2009. He used to the editor for The Business Connect (newspaper) in Harare, has his own news website Tourism Focus which is biased towards the tourism sector. Daniel is also working with Magamba Network on their project called Open Parliament where they do live coverage of Parliamentary activities on Twitter and Facebook. He is currently the secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Journalists Forum, is a member of Zimbabwe Small Broadcasters Association and a board member of Digital Communication Network. He holds a Diploma in Communication and Journalism from the Christian College of Southern Africa (CCOSA), a certificate in Youth leadership training from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), a certificate in Citizen Journalism from Magamba Network and is currently a first-year student at Zimbabwe Open University studying for a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Ethics and Organisational Leadership.

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