Parliament dissolves ahead of elections

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Harare (New Ziana) – Zimbabwe’s parliament was dissolved on Tuesday in readiness for general elections mid-week.

Addressing the outgoing legislature, Speaker of Parliament, Advocate Jacob Mudenda commended the ninth Parliament for making what he called ‘ground- breaking’ during its life.

“As we reflect on the 9th Parliament’s accomplishments and challenges, we must always acknowledge that our journey was a collaborative effort, one driven by the constitutional aspirations and expectations of the people of Zimbabwe without whose steadfast trust and unwavering belief in our ability to make 9th Parliament vibrant during its Parliamentary processes. It is to the people that we owe our allegiance. It is from them that we drew our strength and determination to excel in the 21st century as the institution of Parliament with a central role in the overall governance matrix of Zimbabwe in making laws for peace, order and good governance,” he said.

He said the 9th Parliament recorded a remarkable increase of 38 percent in the number of Bills passed, from 50 in the 8th Parliament to 69.

“Of historic note was the Constitution Amendment Number 2 Bill which, among other things, reinforced the national commitment to mainstreaming gender equality and youth representation in the decision-making processes of the nation,” Mudenda said.

“This palpable milestone was achieved through the extension of the women’s quota in the National Assembly by an additional term to 2033, the allocation of 30% local authority seats to female councillors as well as the inclusion of a youth quota of 10 members in Parliament in the National Assembly.”

“Furthermore, a plethora of laws were enacted, including the Marriages Act, the amendment to the Health Services Act and the Education Amendment Act which, inter alia, promoted access to education for pregnant school children, in pursuit of leaving no place and no one behind as well as giving impetus to the heritage-based education philosophy,” he added.

Said Mudenda: “It is also noteworthy to acknowledge that this Parliament recorded a first when both Houses of Parliament passed the Institute of Chartered Loss Control and Private Security Management Bill, a private Member’s Bill piloted by Hon. Joshua Murire. This Bill now awaits Presidential asset and signature.”

He said the legislature also recorded considerable improvement in the quality of debates in both Houses, thus contributing to the qualitative legislative agenda.

“Turning to its oversight function, our 9th Parliament was indeed defined by its countless Committee enquiries, meticulously crafted oral evidence sessions and incisive questions posed both with and without notice in fulfilment of its overnight role. Consequently, Parliament observed an increase in compliance by the Executive in the submission of peremptory statutory returns to Parliament. The compliance rate rose to 78%, up from a paltry 3% recorded at the beginning of the 9th Parliament,” he said.

“Furthermore, our impact in following up on the Auditor General’s Reports resulted in the establishment of the Central Internal Audit Unit in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development which was tasked with the mandate to produce Treasury Minutes that are essential in providing an effective tracking and response mechanism on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) recommendations,” Mudenda added.

He said Parliament also performed extremely well in pursuit of its representative function as evidenced by the number of Committee recommendations adopted by the Executive.

“Additionally, mention should be made of the remarkable feat achieved in the employment of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). I commend the Members for their excellent project implementation that met the needs of the people. The CDF had an almost full utilization with a commendable accountability rate that passed audit scrutiny. I trust that the 10th Parliament will maintain this momentum and ensure the sustainability of the CDF under a legal framework yet to be promulgated,” he said.

New Ziana

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