MoU to clarify MP roles: Mudenda

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SPEAKER of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda has said the efficiency and effectiveness of legislators can be enhanced through capacity building in gender mainstreaming, financial analysis competence, and knowledge of good governance systems.

BY VENERANDA LANGA/OBEY MANAYITI

He said such competencies and improved educational qualifications would assist MPs to be more articulate in their legislative, representative and oversight roles, as well as in debating issues in both Houses, portfolio and thematic committees.

Mudenda said this yesterday during the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Parliament and three institutions, the Zimbabwe Women’s Resource Centre Network (ZWRCN), Zimbabwe Institute and the Zimbabwe Institute of Public Administration and Management (Zipam).

“The 61% turnover of new MPs entails urgent need for capacity building of MPs to enhance efficiency in discharge of their constitutional mandate of making laws for peace, order and good governance of this country,” he said.

“A baseline survey conducted by Parliament in 2012 confirmed the need to plug capacity gaps in the legislators to ensure economic literacy, gender equality, human rights and capacity building”.

Mudenda said the ZWRCN had over the years helped train MPs on gender mainstreaming as well as to ensure that they were able to do gender tracking in the National Budget to ensure no one was sidelined on the basis of gender when allocating resources.

The Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda could have made a decision on the RBZ debt without calling for a vote

Senate president Edna Madzongwe said ZWRCN and Zimbabwe Institute had for years assisted MPs and Parliament staff with capacity building, while the coming-in of Zipam would further enhance the oversight role of Parliament.

Meanwhile on Monday, the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (Zela) signed a memorandum of agreement with Parliament in a move that is set to increase capacity of legislators in dealing with mining issues among others.

Under the partnership, Zela is expected to focus on linking communities with Parliament, providing Parliament with research information on natural resources management and mining.

In a statement, Zela said such a partnership would increase capacity of the legislators in many different ways in the quest to promote good governance mostly in the extractive sector.

“As Zela, we are pleased by the formalisation of this relationship with Parliament as this will provide us with an opportunity to work more with Parliament to strengthen its oversight, legislative and representative role in natural resources governance,” the organisation said.

“The MoU comes at an opportune time when Zela’s new strategic focus is hinged on engagement of various stakeholders for multi-pronged responses on environmental and natural resources governance in Zimbabwe.”

The organisation was also expected to provide legal expertise and logistical support mainly to portfolio committees on Mines and Energy, Environment and Natural Resources, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment, Local Government and National Housing and Public Accounts Committee.

Zela has been very vocal in the mining sector especially with issues to do with revenue, mining contracts and sustainable use of the environment as well as pushing for the enactment of new laws to govern the extractive sector.

The environmental lawyers were also expected to organise capacity strengthening workshops for relevant portfolio committees.