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You are not an arm of government, Ziyambi tells POLAD

By Staff Reporter

Justice, legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi says political parties that are taking part in the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) should not think they are an arm of government that deserves to be consulted on policy issues.

The statement comes on the back of complaints by some members of POLAD who are of the view that government gazetted a Bill that is seeking to scrap the running mate clause without consulting them.

However, Minister Ziyambi said he is shocked that POLAD members are trying to stop a process which is allowed by the country’s laws adding that government does not take Bills to POLAD.

“We are shocked that they want to stop a process which is allowed by the country’s laws, they want us to sit down and consult them, yes they are in POLAD but if you check with Bills we don’t take them to POLAD

“They are trying to make POLAD an arm of government, if they have their views and ideas they can discuss them there and then they are brought to Cabinet and discussed then they become policy, but that we as government to go to them to ask them on laws, policies or budgets as they want us to do, that would mean we have lost the mandate that we were given by the people to rule.

“Our friends who contested the Presidential election we love them so dearly but we are the ones who were given the mandate by the people with two thirds in Parliament,” he said.

The Justice Minister added that Zanu PF represent the voice of the majority as can be evidenced by the two-thirds majority in Parliament as well as having won the Presidential election in 2018.

“In Parliament the voice of the majority voted for Zanu PF, the same voice voted for the President.

“President then formed his cabinet which is the executive whose duty and function is to rule and to make laws or changes to laws.

“So POLAD cannot seek to liken themselves with those who have power from the people, we respect the few who voted for them that is why we are talking with them,” he said.

He said if parties in POLAD have problems with the Bill, they are still allowed to register their displeasure through the Clerk of Parliament and that gazetting of the Bill does not stop them from doing anything.

According to NCA president Lovemore Madhuku who is also part of POLAD, they had agreed that government will halt gazetting the Bill until wide consultations have been done but were shocked to see it being gazetted.

“We had agreed at POLAD that they should halt gazetting until members in the forum and other stakeholders have been consulted on the amendments.

“It’s not just the amendments that Zanu PF wants but also what other stakeholders want changed.

“We have a situation where President is meeting with POLAD and saying one thing while on the other hand government is going ahead doing the other things they still have their old mentality where they think their views are the only ones which are important,” he said.-

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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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