Chief whips from the House of Assembly last week expressed divergent opinions on how they viewed the just-ended Third Session of the Seventh Parliament of Zimbabwe.
During interviews with NewsDay, Zanu PF chief whip and Mberengwa West MP Joram Gumbo said the session had been unproductive as MPs exhibited “childish behaviour”.
However, MDC-T chief whip and Mutare Central MP Innocent Gonese said MPs from his party excelled during the debates, and the MDC chief whip and MP for Mangwe Edward Mkhosi praised Parliamentary Portfolio Committees for performing their duties diligently.
“During this just-ended session, MPs were involved with Copac activities and there was little time to work on parliamentary issues, while ministers avoided answering questions from MPs and responding to motions pertaining to their ministries that were brought before the House,” said Gumbo.
“MPs sometimes exhibited childish behaviour while debating and most motions brought before Parliament caused divisions and ended up in partisan verbal clashes.” But, Gonese said he was pleased by the quality of motions that MPs from his party introduced in the House of Assembly.
“I am happy with the way the MDC-T MPs dealt with motions. Most of our members acquitted themselves well in terms of research on motions and articulation during debate. MDC-T MPs also performed well during debate on unconstitutional statements by service chiefs and the motion on national healing,” said Gonese.
He said MPs from the House of Assembly supported amendments to the Public Order and Security Act and he hoped it would be brought back during the Fourth Session of the Seventh Parliament. Mkhosi said committee business had been very productive, compared to debates in the House that aroused a lot of heckling.
“Committees give chances to every MP in that particular committee to air their views and yet in the House of Assembly there are 210 MPs and these contest to be chosen by the Speaker to speak,” he said.
Mkhosi castigated the violence that occurred during public hearings on the Human Rights Commission Bill, saying it put the Third Session of the Seventh Parliament in bad light.