Parliament yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with three development partners aimed at assisting legislators in discharging their legislative, oversight and representative roles.
The three partners are Public Affairs and Parliamentary Support Trust (PAPST), Transparency International Zimbabwe (ITZ) and Association of European Parliaments with Africa (AWEPA).
In his address before the ceremony held at Parliament building, Speaker of the National Assembly, Advocate Jacob Mudenda, said one of the pertinent areas covered in the MOUs was to promote the involvement of the public and other key relevant stakeholders in the work of parliament.
“Not only is this a recognition of the fact that as the legislature we hold a sacred duty to protect the public trust that was bestowed on us by the people of Zimbabwe and for which we must exercise unfailing stewardship. It is also a testimony to our commitment to protect the Constitution, specifically Section 141 which relates to public involvement in the business of parliament,” said Adv Mudenda.
He said the MOUs sought to provide development and training opportunities to legislators and staff of parliament that would be mutually agreed upon by the three development partners to be identified in line with priorities in the House’s institutional strategic plan.
“It is imperative that both members and staff of parliament have the requisite skills and competences to live up to this onerous responsibility. For Parliament to be able to mainstream issues of transparency and accountability in the various pieces of legislation to be tabled before it for alignment, MPs will require support and sound knowledge in this area,” he said.
Adv Mudenda said the coming on board of development partners was handy as Treasury funding alone could not adequately cater for the general and sector specific capacity building requirements.
“It is therefore critically important that the Treasury funding gap be consummated today through the signing of these three MOUs,” he said.
PAPST was represented by chairperson, Mr Shepherd Makonyere and executive director Mr Mike Mataure, while AWEPA was represented by Ms Kudzai Makombe with TIZ being represented by Ms Sandra Mehlomakhulu.