BY VENERANDA LANGA
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa has said Zimbabwe cannot afford a bloated Parliament and Executive.
Chinamasa told the National Assembly on Wednesday that he wanted to provoke debate on whether the new Constitution can be amended to cut the size of the bloated legislature which was now becoming unsustainable.
He was responding to a question by Binga North MP Prince Dubeko Sibanda (MDC-T) who wanted Chinamasa to explain if he was considering trimming the size of Parliament.
“Under the circumstances the statement that Chinamasa said last week has created panic in the financial sector because amendment of the Constitution with a view of trimming MPs has an effect,” Sibanda said.
“It creates uncertainty in the financial sector because some MPs still owe financial institutions,” he said. Chinamasa blamed the new Constitution for creating bureaucracy.
“We increased the legislature, but when you see the size of our population vis-à-vis the legislature, we are way beyond in terms of sustainability. We also created new provincial and metropolitan structures which were all to be funded by the fiscus in terms of wages, and this is coming at a time when we are unable to sustain Parliament,” he said.
“I never said I will amend the Constitution. I said I was provoking debate to see if we can amend our Constitution because we cannot go on living as if we are in paradise. We have to cut our suit according to our cloth.”
He said many commissions were also created which had to be funded.
“I am reluctant to go to development partners to ask them to fund recurrent expenditure because that undermines our sovereignty,” Chinamasa said.
Harare West MP Jessie Majome (MDC-T) said if Chinamasa were to cut the legislature he should also consider cutting the bloated Cabinet of 71 ministers and their deputies.
Chinamasa said it was also the inclusive government that created the bloated Executive.
“We are all to blame, and I was also a critical player to this Constitution. If I was the Finance minister during the inclusive government, I would have told you that what you were doing creating bloated institutions was not sustainable,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chipinge South MP Enock Porusingazi (Zanu PF) is facing contempt of Parliament charges for utterances he made in a local daily newspaper rubbishing the report recently tabled before Parliament by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment.
Committee chairperson Justice Mayor Wadyajena (Zanu PF) asked the Speaker to appoint an ad-hoc committee to investigate possible contempt of Parliament by Porusingazi, who is said to have commented that the committee report was “full of factional undertones”.
Porusingazi was recently fired from Zanu PF for aligning himself to a faction that reportedly plotted the ouster of President Robert Mugabe and replace him with former Vice-President Joice Mujuru.
Wadyajena said the utterances tarnished the image of the committee and his authority as chairman.
But, Harare Central MP Murisi Zwizwai (MDC-T) raised a point of order with Chinomona saying the investigations on Porusingazi should not take place as Wadyajena was heard at the Parliament bar before presenting the report threatening to present a report that will fix Porusingazi.
“We cannot have Parliament being used on issues of political party factional fights,” Zwizwai said.
Chinamasa decries bloated govt
BY VENERANDA LANGA