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‘No one has powers to undermine authority of legislature’

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Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Arthur Mutambara on Wednesday told Parliament no one had powers to undermine the authority of the Legislature and ministers who have been asked by the House to act on Bills should do so without failure.

Mutambara was responding to Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya who asked him to explain government policy the implementation of resolutions of motions, especially with regards to the resolution adopted on media reforms which was passed two years ago.

Back then, the House had called upon the Information minister Webster Shamu to bring the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, (Aippa) for revision or repeal, but he did not.

“We are in a Constitutional democracy and we believe in the separation of powers in the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary and we would like to make sure that function of separation of powers is protected,” said Mutambara.

He said a follow-up was going to be made to ensure whatever decision or motion passed, which required the Executive to act, was implemented.

“This august House is supreme and since the people of Zimbabwe voted for people to be in this House, we must come up with Bills that are adopted and become law.” Aippa has been slammed by media practitioners and MPs for denying journalists freedom of expression and access to some government documents.

In some instances, journalists and editors have been arrested and charged with contravening Aippa.

The DPM also urged MPs not to wait for the Executive to bring Bills and urged them to take the initiative of bringing private member Bills to Parliament.

To date, only MDC-T chief whip Innocent Gonese has brought before Parliament a private member’s Bill in the form of amendments to the Public Order and Security Act.

“The Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai and I, will look into this matter to ensure whatever motions are passed in this House are acted upon so that we respect the separation of powers,” said the DPM.

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