AS surely as the sun will rise tomorrow, the country’s legislators’ sojourn in the bicameral Parliament comes to an end midnight on June 29.
Southern Eye Editorial
Austin Zvoma, the Clerk of Parliament, has officially reminded all the honourable members in the bloated House of Assembly and the Senate that their time in the august House is up and they should start planning for the future. As if rubbing salt into injury on legislators grumbling about inheriting old cars and without a solution to their long outstanding allowances in sight, Zvoma categorically stated that their parliamentary benefits would cease on June 29. This has solicited a loud hue and cry from the legislators from both sides of the political divide. Some of these honourable MPs, or is it dishonourable, had grown fat courtesy of freebies from Parliament and the coalition government. They had grown used to free food, cars, fuel, generous sitting allowances and endless donor-funded workshops, yet their respective constituencies wallowed in abject poverty.
Some of these so-called honourable MPs have never uttered a single word in Parliament during their five-year stay.
The truth of the matter is that Zimbabweans are being shortchanged by the poor quality of people sitting in Parliament.
While the idea of putting minimum requirements, education or otherwise is debatable, it is incumbent upon political parties to ensure that their candidates demonstrate leadership qualities for them to understand the purpose of the work of Parliament.
Our outgoing MPs across the political divide have never censured the Executive and in that regard have failed to adequately check on Executive excesses. A few MPs did a commendable job and one can mention Paddy Zhanda, Edward Chindori Chininga, Blessing Chebundo and Settlement Chikwinya. These MPs in a number of ways demonstrated an understanding of issues and courage to confront the Executive. Others simply warmed the benches, stole Constituency Development Fund money and surely they must go.
The outgoing crop will go down in history as one of the worst in the history of Parliament in Zimbabwe as they rarely sat to discuss anything meaningful as a House.
Some critics of the coalition government also accuse the out-going MPs of undertaking a sham constitutional reform process, which they are adamant was forced down the throats of the people. Some of these chaps have the audacity and temerity to ask citizens to return them to Parliament in the pending elections. Adios dishonourable MPs.