THE Speaker of the House of Assembly Jacob Mudenda yesterday said Parliament portfolio and thematic committees will be announced by next week.
SENIOR PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER
Parliamentary portfolio and thematic committees have not been sitting since the official opening of the Eighth Session of Parliament by President Robert Mugabe last month. Only the Senate and House of Assembly have been sitting since September 24.
Mudenda said the delays in setting up thematic and portfolio committees had been necessitated by that political parties had not yet submitted the names of MPs they wanted to second for each committee.
“The process of the setting-up of portfolio and thematic committees is ongoing and is now at an advanced stage,” Mudenda said.
“By next week, we should be ready to announce them as we are waiting to receive names of MPs to be seconded to those committees from political parties.”
Mudenda said the criteria used to second an MP to a committee would be guided by the interests of that particular legislator as well as their expertise in a particular field.
“We are also going to ensure even members of the MDC-T assume chairmanship of some committees as we are in a multi-party democracy. It means we will be very fair and try to rationalise,” he said.
The Speaker of the House of Assembly said after the political parties submitted the names of MPs to be seconded to portfolio and thematic committees, the Standing Rules and Orders Committee would further look at the names to decide on which members to second to which committee.
Meanwhile, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister Emmerson Mnangagwa was appointed leader of government business in Parliament, while MDC-T vice-president Thokozani Khupe was named leader of the opposition in the House of Assembly.
According to Veritas the publishers of Bill Watch, attendance in both Houses of Parliament has been good with, on average, about 220 MPs out of a possible 270 present in the House of Assembly and 66 out of a possible 78 present in Senate.
“The impossibility of accommodating all members in the chamber of the House became apparent when some members, unable to find seats, had to stand in the aisles,” Veritas said.