Chinamasa bemoans Parliament size

Minister Chinamasa

Minister Chinamasa

Abigail Mawonde Herald Correspondent
FINANCE and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa has bemoaned the size of Parliament saying it is too big for the economy and population. In a ministerial statement in Parliament last week, Minister Chinamasa set parallels with countries like Japan and the United Kingdom with better economies and huge populations but fewer parliamentarians. He said joint efforts were needed to reduce the wage bill.

“Again, Honourable Misihairabwi-Mushonga, I agree with you that we have to reduce the wage bill, but it is not an easy walk in the park. If I came to Parliament and said, for instance what we agreed in the new Constitution is not sustainable, let me be very frank with you; it is not sustainable.

The size of this Parliament is not sustainable, but if I came and say let us amend, there will be populists’ sentiments,” he said. Minister Chinamasa said the country’s population did not require many legislators.

“Yes, there is no way. Our population is 14 million and we have about 350 Members of Parliament. Japan with a population of 90 million has something of that size in Parliament. We do not have that size of economy like Japan or the UK. No, but I am saying it does not need to come from me. Nothing stops you from bringing a motion to say let us reduce the size of our Parliament. You have the power to change the Constitution,” he said. Minister Chinamasa said it required everyone’s efforts cut the wage bill.

“I am merely saying this in order to provoke debate, so that you do not always think that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development alone can reduce the wage bill. It is all of us. We know the size of our Government and our Parliament, all that expense is unsustainable.” It is like we are using Parliament as a source of employment and not a platform to represent the interests of the people,” he said.

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  • Jindaguru

    Nothing new here, reducing the size of Parliament, Senate, and number of Ministers/Deputies has been proposed for decades. If Parliament were reduced to a size proportional to needs, perhaps around 150, excuses for a new larger Parliamentary building constructed costing hundreds of millions by the Chinese would also disappear!
    Compared to India which has 27 Cabinet Ministers, 13 State Ministers with Independent Charge plus 26 Ministers of State for a population of 1,3 billion, roughly one Minister for 19,4 million people, Zimbabwe has 40 plus Ministers and Provincial Governors for a comparatively insignificant population of 16 million. Does that make one Indian Minister far more important than the entire Zimbabwean Cabinet?

    • Samanyika

      True that. This issue was raised long back but who cares to listen? ZANU is something else.

      • Chief Political Observer

        But your MDCT in the GNU also supported the government size. If the new constitution is fully harmonized the public sector will even grow more.

        • Mhesvamukono

          That was a major concession to forming the GNU. Entrenched Zanu-PF participants had no intention of relinquishing positions of power and privileges they’d held for the last 28 years at that time, the only solution was to virtually double many official posts allowing constant Zanu-PF interference and little progress during the GNU years.

    • sky

      Deputy ministers are not necessary because we have the Permanent secretary. Zimbabwe only needs 13 ministries: heath, transport, defence, education, sports and culture, environment, finance, justice, foreign affairs, mining, agriculture, social welfare and Parastatals. These 13 guys will fix the country affording us to remove Senators and Governors. We can save $1.5 billion dollars.

  • He should offer to resign first

    • walterk

      We do not need a SENATE!!!, MPs only are good enough

  • Rasta!

    You’ve only just realised this after 37 years? The jobs for the boys thing not working out so great huh?

  • pp

    Let’s commend him for seeing the light and saying the right thing, why should we criticise him? Simply because he is Zpf? If we view things with such profound polarisation, we will never take our country out of this dungeon it has been plunged inot?

    • Gamba ReManyika

      You’re right! I don’t see why Chinamasa should be chastised for saying the right things. Don’t hate people for hobby but let’s criticize or support on merit. We should start by sending some of those morons in parliament out of employment and everything else will fall into the right places!

  • zimbotry

    We Knew that long ago. The issue is how to sustain the gravy chain for so many non performing and clueless people

  • Ngomalungundu

    During the GNU as Zimbabweans we spend more resources fishing and crafting ideas about democracy and all the accompanying institutions. We even wondered on the devolution idea to add more layers of government . We ended now having top heavy institutions in the name of modern democracy , creating jobs in nonproductive sectors. The private sector that creates wealth and resources to be taxed to finance the public institutions remains stunted and over burdened by the heavy public sector. A public sector size not existing pro bono publico. Public sector is more than looking at government workers. MPs and ministers too. Donors who funded some of the GNU exercises never raised their fingers about our going astray. The fight for public sector jobs is seen in political factions across the political divide. The opposition parties also fight for shadow positions in government. It would appear the Finance Minister is now cornered but he cannot directly speak the economic language of ESAP for reasons political. Horns of dilemma indeed!

    • Profmununhema

      Job creation for cronies who cannot be employed anywhere because of either bad history or lack of knowledge in any discipline except praise singing failing political idols.

  • sky

    I always refrain from using examples. Minister used Japan and UK to back up his claim of huge populations with fewer parliamentarians. I am going to pick Israel to back up my point that we need more Parliamentarians. Israel has 8 million people and have 120 Parliamentarians. Our population is now 17 million so we need to 240 Parliamentarians.

    • Everfaithful

      You should have gone further with your comparison, u left out the most important parameter in that analysis. Does Israel have a GDP of a mere 16 billion?

  • micah

    Interesting , however the Senate and huge parliament have been a way of rewarding loyalty along party lines. So its unfortunate nothing will change really until the dispensation of War credentials ends.

  • James

    Zvinoddzingisa basa zvauri kutaura izvi Chinamasa. If u keep talking sense u will be fired.

  • eliah

    Nice one Chinamasa ,so what are you going to do about it now that the tenure of this one is coming to an end.

  • george musendekwa

    Talk…talk…and talk. No action…wasting people’s time…..zimbabwe needs serious austerity measures. ..reduce those redandant members of Parliament even only to a parliamentarIan pe district or 3 pe province

  • Everfaithful

    Kkkkk continuous elected mode !!!!Campaigning always start just after a victorious one ,so its gonna be a vicious circle of sloganeering ,politicking,rally ululations at the expense of economic wisdom !!¡!!