HomeLocal NewsTsvangirai bemoans ‘dead’ Senate

Tsvangirai bemoans ‘dead’ Senate

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Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Tuesday expressed concern over the quality of debate in the Senate as almost every motion on the order paper was adjourned without debate.

The PM, who attended the Senate for the first time since the formation of the coalition government, said effort should be made to ensure issues were thoroughly debated in both Houses of Parliament before they were passed.

Tsvangirai’s remarks came following reports that of the eight motions on the Senate Order Paper yesterday, only one motion on the Presidential speech was debated by Mount Darwin Senator Alice Chimbudzi, forcing the Minister of State Security in the President’s Office, Sydney Sekeramayi, to adjourn proceedings to next week.

“It is surprising that every motion on today’s Senate Order Paper was adjourned, yet surely, there is a lot of business for the house to engage in robust debate,” said Tsvangirai.

“This is my first time to attend the Senate and hopefully we will try to encourage MPs to participate meaningfully,” he said.

He said as PM, he was going to try and enhance the quality of debate, especially taking into cognisance that ministers were dodging question-and-answer sessions on Wednesdays.

“There are two things that we have to work on to improve the quality of debate. The first is that as the leader of government business, I have to focus on trying to make sure that all ministers are present during question-and-answer sessions. The second is that we have to ensure that we increase discourse in the Houses of Parliament,” Tsvangirai said.

A fortnight ago, ministers reportedly bunked question-and-answer sessions in the House of Assembly, leaving questions unanswered.

Chisipite Senator and Justice and Legal Affairs deputy minister Obert Gutu said he was also concerned about the apparent lack of enthusiasm by legislators to engage in debate in the House.

“I want to place part of the blame on us members of the Executive because it would appear that there are very few Bills that are coming to Parliament and MPs end up with nothing to debate,” Gutu said.

“The Seventh Parliament has not been robust in terms of debate and I hope the Executive will see it fit to bring in more Bills to Parliament.”

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