Almost a quarter of MPs in the House of Assembly and Senate have never opened their mouths in Parliament to contribute in any debate since they were elected four years ago, NewsDay can exclusively reveal.
A research on Parliament indexes of speeches showing how each MP has been contributing to debate in both Houses since 2008 when they were elected shows that about 52 House of Assembly legislators and 23 senators have not uttered a word in debates, let alone done maiden speeches.
Maiden speeches are the first speeches given by newly-elected legislators and according to Parliament Standing Rules and Orders number 197, MPs are allowed to even use local languages during debate.
The situation has been worsened by truant ministers, some of whom have missed sitting more than 20 times, according to our investigations.
Prominent people who are listed on the index of speeches as having not contributed to any debate in the House of Assembly include Media, Information and Publicity minister Webster Shamu (Zanu PF), Home Affairs co-minister Kembo Mohadi (Zanu PF), Mines and Mining Development minister Obert Mpofu (Zanu PF), Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Didymus Mutasa (Zanu PF), Minister of State in Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s Office Sylvester Nguni (Zanu PF), Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Jameson Timba, National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration co-minister Moses Mzila-Ndlovu (MDC) and Tsholotsho North MP Jonathan Moyo
Shamu, Mohadi, Mpofu and Moyo have not been attending Parliament regularly. Although ministers cannot take part in debate on motions by backbenchers, they can respond to issues raised about their ministries and take questions from backbenchers on Wednesdays in the House of Assembly and on Thursdays in the Senate.
MDC-T MPs who are listed as not having said anything in the House of Assembly since they were elected include Gutu Central MP Oliver Chirume, Mbare MP Piniel Denga, Matobo MP Cornelius Dube, Marondera MP Ian Kay, Pelandaba-Mpopoma MP Samuel Khumalo, Hwange West MP Gift Mabhena, Chipinge South MP Meki Makuyana, Chirumanzi MP Maramba Phase Hakuna, Gutu North MP Edmore Maramwidze, Bikita East MP Edmore Marima, Gokwe Kabuyuni MP Costin Muguti, Norton MP Edward Musumbu, Matobo South MP Gabriel Ndebele, Buhera South MP Naison Nemadziva, Gweru Urban MP Rodrick Rutsvara and Binga North MP Patrick Sibanda.
In the Senate, MDC-T legislators who have not contributed anything include Kariba Senator John Masaba, Buhera Senator Samuel Tsungirirai Muzerengwa, and Chipinge Senator Josiah Rimbi. Zanu PF House of Assembly MPs who failed to debate include Hurungwe North MP Peter Chanetsa, Gokwe Nembudziya MP Flora Buka, Chiwundura MP Kizito Chivamba, Chipinge Central MP Alice Chitima, Muzvezve MP Peter Haritatos, Mudzi North MP Newton Kachepa, Mudzi West MP Aqualinah Katsande, Lupane West MP Martin Khumalo, Insiza North MP Andrew Langa, Mberengwa North MP Jabulani Mangena, Gokwe Sesami MP Dorcus Maposhere, Mwenezi West MP Neddie Masukume, Chikomba East MP Edgar Mbwembwe, Mhangura MP Douglas Mombeshora, Mutoko South MP Olivia Muchena, Muzarabani North MP Luke Mushore, Maramba Pfungwe MP Washington Musvaire, Gokwe-Kana MP Busy Ngwenya, Harare South MP Hubert Nyanhongo (Zanu PF), Murewa South MP Biggie Matiza, Zvimba West MP Nelson Samkange and Gokwe Chireya MP Sindi Cephas.
Senators from Zanu PF who have never contributed anything in the House include Chikomba Seke Senator Gladys Mabhiza, Gokwe South Senator Jason Machaya, Kwekwe Senator Henry Madzorera, Chiredzi Senator Titus Maluleke, Hurungwe Senator Reuben Marumahoko, Matabeleland South Governor, Angeline Masuku, Shurugwi Zvishavane Senator Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, Mashonaland East Governor Aeneas Chigwedere and Manicaland Governor Christopher Mushohwe.
Chiefs who have been mum in the Senate since 2008 include Manicaland Chief Revai Chiduku, Mashonaland Central Chief Daster Chisunga, Masvingo Chief Felani Chitanga, Masvingo Chief Veterai Mabika, Matabeleland South Chief Silandilizwe Masendu, Mashonaland West Chief Wilson Nebiri, Mashonaland Central Chief Clemence Nembire, Midlands Chief Milton Ntabeni and Matabeleland North Chief Jonah Shana.
MDC (Ncube) MPs who have not contributed to debate include Gwanda Central MP Patrick Dube, and Mangwe MP Edward Mkhosi.
However, though many MPs have failed to contribute to debate in both Houses of Parliament since 2008, some of them have been active in Parliamentary Portfolio and Thematic Committee business.