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Parties must demand performance from MPs

By Daniel Chigundu
SPEAKER of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda says political parties in the country have the responsibility to ensure their Members of Parliament (MPs) are performing to expectation.
Most MPs from the current 8th Parliament of Zimbabwe have been founding wanting when it comes to their performance in both the house and in their constituencies.
The National Assembly has about 270 legislators, but according to Women in Politics Support Unity (WiPSU) only 35 MPs speak actively.
WiPSU also revealed that about 52 MPs have not spoken a word in Parliament since taking oath in 2013.
Addressing a press conference, Honourable Mudenda said political parties, the electorate and civic services organisation have the duty to call the MPs to account in terms of performance.
“We also want to believe that the political parties where these MPs are sponsored from must insist on performance, it is their responsibility. The electorate themselves have a right to call the MPs to account.
“But you see the problem is when you elect an MP and they carry this title Honourable, they become so fearsome and the people tend to be afraid to approach them and yet they forget that it is them who gave them that authority to be in parliament.
“They elected them but the moment they carry this Honourable title there is some fear of some sought I don’t know why because you are the one to take out that title when don’t vote for them in the next elections, so say it that we will take it away from you if you don’t come to us and we will put someone else.
“Civil society organisations must also be vocal in assessing the performance  of MPs, you are the inspectors, you are the assessors if the MPs are ‘missing persons’ then it’s squarely up to you and to the electorate to take the blame and the political parties also that have put  forward these members to be MPs,” he said.
The Speaker added that the Open Day that is being hosted by Parliament is part of the education exercise meant to equipment members of the public with information on what to expect from Parliament and their MPs.
He also challenged the academia to help in improving Parliament, by critiquing its work.
Parliament also uses such events as the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair and the Harare Agricultural Show to get feed from members of the public.

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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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