Parliament resolves to punish errant ministers

10 Oct, 2012 - 04:10 0 Views
Parliament resolves to  punish errant ministers

The Herald

ministers who fail to respond to questions from the House.
The MPs said ministers have not been coming to respond to questions raised during question and answer sessions or portfolio committee recommendations.

They said it was surprising that the ministers wanted Parliament to “rubber stamp” Bills when they did not want to participate in other activities of the House.
Bulawayo South MP Mr Eddie Cross (MDC-T) urged legislators to resist “rubber stamping” the 2013 national budget if Finance Minister Tendai Biti did not adequately consult them.

Legislators from the political divide said the source of the arrogance by ministers was because some of them were senior members in political parties.

This came out during a motion by Silobela MP Mr Anadi Sululu (MDC-T) calling for a committee to come up with sanctions on any minister who failed to respond to questions in terms of parliamentary procedure.
The motion was unanimously adopted.

Legislators such as Mbizo MP, Mr Settlement Chikwinya, Nkulumane MP, Mr Thamsanqa Mahlangu, Bulawayo East MP Thabitha Khumalo, all from MDC-T, bemoaned the whipping system in their party.
They said some members of the Executive were senior party members and they would whip legislators to allow the rubber stamping of decisions.

The MPs noted that most of the motions adopted by Parliament would never be implemented and the responsible minister did not respond.
Mr Cross said ministries and departments were supposed to present quarterly financial reports in terms of the Public Finance Management Act.
“We should be able to tell the Finance Minister that we are not going to rubber stamp the budget if proper consultations that include us are not made,” Mr Cross said.

In his contribution, Mr Sululu said ministers had either failed to respond to inquiries from legislators or when they do so they would bring flimsy excuses for implementing government programmes.

“When MPs ask ministers to explain, the minister will always give reasons such as there is no money or that they are looking into the issue without giving an indication of a way forward,” said Mr Sululu.

“Some questions will be on the Order Paper for six months or a year with no response from the responsible minister.
“But that minister would be regularly attending Cabinet, but will not respond to questions from MPs.

“So, let’s have an implementation and monitoring committee that would propose sanctions for ministers who fail to respond.”
Uzumba MP Cde Simba Mudarikwa said farmers had been taken for granted as no payment  had been made to grain deliveries.

He also slammed the freezing of posts by Treasury and failure to fund the cadetship programme for tertiary students.


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