SPEAKER of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda yesterday called on MPs to take advantage of the capacity-building programmes availed to them so that they do not find themselves unemployable when they leave Parliament.
Mudenda said this in Harare during his keynote address to MPs attending a capacity-building programme on the implementation of economic blueprint Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset).
“This capacity-building programme should facilitate the
self-actualisation of individuals and enable them to realise their optimum potential through self-employment or by rendering them employable within the labour market beyond the life of this Parliament,” said Mudenda.
“The capacity-building programmes should sharpen and deepen the individual’s appreciation of the broader social, political and economic environment which they live and this will in turn enable them to acquire tools for analysis of socio-economic issues in their constituencies, provinces and indeed nationally,” he said.
Mudenda said skills training would also ensure MPs make incisive contributions in Parliament, as well as enhance their legislative, oversight and representative roles.
He said MPs should be like President Robert Mugabe who acquired five degrees while under political detention during the liberation war.
Speaking at the same event, Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development minister Olivia Muchena said it was imperative for MPs to acquire research skills and urged those currently doing university studies to exercise their newly-acquired skills to enhance constituency development.
She urged legislators to emulate Vice-President Joice Mujuru for pursuing academic studies despite her age and busy schedule.
“VP Mujuru will be capped next Saturday with a PhD and this is in spite of being a Vice-President, a grandmother, and having gone through tragedy and trauma in her life. She was one of my students soon after the war of liberation and she managed to combine her work as VP with working for degree programmes,” she said.
Muchena presented 11 vice-chancellors of different universities in Zimbabwe who showcased different degree programmes that MPs can work on in line with ZimAsset. She said there would be tailor-made, regular and bridging programmes to suit MPs’ various requirements.