NewsDay was yesterday hailed in Parliament for exposing MPs who have not said anything for the four years that they have sat in the House since their election in 2008.
Mbizo MP and chairman of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media, Information and Communication Technology, Settlement Chikwinya said during debate on the First Report on the State of the Public Media in Zimbabwe that the NewsDay article published last Saturday had jerked many sleeping MPs to life, sending the legislators jostling to make contributions during debate on a motion on the Presidential Speech.
About eight legislators who were named as not having contributed anything in the House yesterday stood up to speak for the first time.
These included Ian Kay (Marondera Central), Edward Musumbu (Norton), Meki Makuyana (Chipinge South), Naison Nemadziva (Buhera South), and Piniel Denga (Mbare) all MDC-T, and also Alice Chitima (Chipinge Central), Fungai Chaderopa (Sanyati) and Abraham Sithole (Chiredzi East) from Zanu PF.
This comes at a time when the current Fourth Session of the Seventh Parliament is reaching the end of its lifespan which ends on June 20 to make way for a new session of Parliament mid July.
Chikwinya said it was unfortunate the State broadcaster, ZBC, was not giving live coverage to Parliament to expose sleeping MPs and those who had been failing to contribute to debate.
“If there is an institution placed under sanctions by ZBC it is Parliament because in other democracies, parliamentary debates are played live because it is in the public interest to see legislators while debating in the House,” said Chikwinya.
“That is why other MPs have been sleeping during sessions, bunking or not debating at all because there is no direct coverage of Parliament and I would like to thank the exposure by one of our print media newspapers of MPs who have never debated because today we saw many of them taking part in debate,” he said.
Meanwhile, while contributing to the Presidential Speech, Denga said the Mudzi North MP who was recently implicated in the murder of an MDC-T activist was actually implicated in other murders.
“It is alleged on July 17, 2008 Kachepa was also involved in the murder of Kingswell Muteta at Ngodo Business Centre. He is also alleged to have contributed to the death of Peter Butau and dockets were opened, but to date no one has been arrested,” he said.