Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
The Ninth Parliament of Zimbabwe, which was sworn in on Wednesday, has its work cut out as it should come up with legislation to speed up economic revival and also align outstanding laws with the Constitution. Political analysts who spoke to The Herald said Parliament had no room for unnecessary squabbles.
Mr Tafadzwa Mugwadi said the Ninth Parliament should leave a legacy of championing the country’s development.
“The Ninth Parliament must take pride in having a democratically elected Head of State and Government who means business, which is a departure from the Eighth Parliament, which although vibrant, failed to leave footprints of development,” he said.
“This Parliament has an opportunity to complement the President’s efforts in reshaping policy direction of the new dispensation through vibrant debate.
“The generality of the public looks up to this Parliament to radicalise the fierce battle against triple evils of corruption, poverty and unemployment through popularising the ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’ mantra to ensure that the country becomes a competitive destination for global capital.
“Furthermore, the Ninth Parliament would be expected to put aside political differences of the crazy election season which is behind us and speak with a bold united voice against illegal sanctions on the country and those behind them.”
Mr Mugwadi said Parliament should speak out against illegal sanctions imposed on the country.
“The ANC and Economic Freedom Fighters in South Africa despite being fierce political rivals, have set the tone by coalescing their voices against American threats,” he said.
“The MDC must take a leaf from that and speak with one voice with their zanu-pf counterparts on fundamental aspects of national interests.
“I even encourage unreservedly this Ninth Parliament to institute legal provisions that criminalise and outlaw organisations or individuals calling for hostile measures against the country in a similar fashion to the Patriot Act of the USA.
“This will ensure that the country’s sovereignty and national interests are not threatened.”
Southern Africa Parliamentary Support Trust director Mr John Makamure said Parliament should promote democratic governance.
“The MPs must ensure that the Constitution is fully adhered to and that no one is above the supreme law,” he said.
“The new Parliament must speed up alignment and tackle substantive issues in legislation rather than cosmetic changes.
“The portfolio committee system, which is the engine of parliamentary work, should be adequately funded to carry out effective oversight role.
“Petitions lodged by citizens must be speedily acted upon and address fully their concerns.
“The Ninth Parliament should come to the fore in the fight against corruption laws and institutions fighting and preventing corruption must be strengthened.”
Mr Goodwine Mureriwa said the policies enunciated under the new dispensation needed to be backed up by law.
“The new dispensation needs socio-political and economic reforms that have to be backed by law,” he said.
“For example, the opposition should seek remedies to complaints they had in the past election through amendments of the Electoral Act.
“Uniformed bickering should be a thing of the past. Economic reform demands robust debate and enactment of laws that are clear to inform seemingly ambiguous policies like indigenisation and empowerment.
“The country desperately need investment, so there is need to facilitate ease of doing business without jeopardising sovereignty and national interests.
“In essence, representative democracy entails making laws that promote the interests of voters and the generality of Zimbabweans.”
The parliamentarians took their oath of office after they were elected into Parliament in the harmonised elections held on July 30 that were resoundingly won by zanu-pf.
The ruling party has more than two-thirds majority in the National Assembly, enough to push its developmental agenda and economic recovery programme.