Pamela Shumba Bulawayo Bureau
THE Speaker of Parliament Advocate Jacob Mudenda yesterday blasted hooligans that caused violence at Electoral Law Reforms public hearings held around the country recently, saying they denied citizens their constitutional right to be involved in legislative processes.The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs was forced to call off some of the meetings after violence erupted among participants, mostly youths.
The disruptions occurred in Bulawayo, Mutare and Mutoko where rowdy youths attacked parliamentarians.
Addressing Members of Parliament and ministers at a three-day 2017 pre-budget seminar held at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo yesterday, Adv Mudenda said Parliament does not tolerate hooliganism from members of the public.
“We’ll not accept violence at parliamentary public meetings. Hooliganism must stop. In terms of Section 141 of the Constitution, everybody has the right to say their views. Members of the public must present their views without fear and they must also respect other people’s views.
“We must exercise political tolerance and desist from fighting because it doesn’t solve anything. Parliament is a family of all political parties and members of various committees come from different parties but they go out as a united committee for the benefit of the people of Zimbabwe and the development of the country,” he said.
The pre-Budget seminar was organised by Parliament to deliberate on and review the performance of this year’s National Budget and determine priorities for the 2017 National Budget.
Adv Mudenda said the Budget process requires systematic engagement throughout the cycle.
“Section 141 (a) of the Constitution mandates Parliament to facilitate public involvement in its legislative and other processes and in the process of its committees. These consultations were motivated by the need to holistically and effectively address the concerns of the most critical sectors of our economy.
“It’s in my fervent hope that in crafting the 2017 National Budget, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development will take on board all constructive ideas and recommendations drawn from all people through our committees in embracing domestic resource mobilisation,” said Adv Mudenda.
He added that it was important for Members of Parliament to set aside their political and ideological differences as the country evokes the spirit of ubuntu in laying the groundwork for the economic revival of the country in the 2017 National Budget.
“We must collectively confront the challenges we face as a country. Our economic challenges are so huge but it’s our duty to transform the economy,” said Adv Mudenda.
He said the seminar, which is being held under the theme, “Enhancing transformative economic development through domestic resource mobilisation and utilisation”, should be able to identify the challenges that have undermined the effective performance of the present budget.
The seminar, Adv Mudenda added, will draw lessons which will guide the nation in underpinning the national priorities for the 2017 National Budget to be anchored on logical solutions that can lead to mobilisation of domestic resources to grow the National Budget.