MPs were yesterday up in arms with Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko for failing to attend Parliament in violation of the Constitution and Parliamentary rules.
by VENERANDA LANGA
This was after MDC-T chief whip Innocent Gonese raised a point of order with the Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda over Mphoko’s constant failure to turn up in both Houses as stipulated in Section 107 of the Constitution and Order 47 of Parliamentary Standing Rules and Orders (SROs).
“According to these provisions, all ministers and VPs are obliged to attend Parliament for purposes of answering questions, but we now have a situation whereby one of the VPs (Mphoko) has never set foot in this House,” Gonese said. “May VP Emmerson Mnangagwa tell us whether he has apprised his counterpart on provisions of the Standing Orders and the Constitution?”
Opposition MPs then shouted that Mphoko needed a training workshop.
Mnangagwa and Mudenda almost clashed on whose responsibility it was to remind Mphoko that he also needed to attend Parliament.
A visibly disturbed Mnangagwa said: “It is the duty of the Speaker to rule on the issue. However, VP Mphoko has his choices whether to sit in Senate or National Assembly. I am not his personal clerk to discuss the issue, but as far as I am concerned, he is fully aware that he has to come to Parliament.”
Mudenda later ruled: “It is the responsibility of the chair to inform VP Mphoko of Section 47 of the SROs and Section 107 of the Constitution.”
In an unrelated matter, Kuwadzana East MP Nelson Chamisa (MDC-T) demanded that Mnangagwa explain if abducted democracy activist Itai Dzamara had been found.
The question was subsequently responded to by Home Affairs deputy minister Ziyambi Ziyambi who said Dzamara had not yet been found, and he appealed to people with information regarding his whereabouts to assist the police.
Meanwhile, Gokwe Nembudziya MP Justice Mayor Wadyajena (Zanu PF) was ejected from the National Assembly by Sergeant-at-Arms Nicholas Marufu for attending the sitting clad in Zanu PF party regalia.
“MPs must be reminded that they are not allowed to enter the premises of Parliament wearing party regalia. As administration of Parliament, we shall advise security at entry points to disallow any MP to enter these premises as such,” Mudenda said.
After three minutes, Wadyajena was chucked out, but returned wearing a jacket.