Parly Speaker’s rulings must be scrutinised: MP

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Mutasa South MP Irene Zindi (Zanu PF) has said rulings made by Speaker of Parliament should be subjected to deeper scrutiny and regular challenge to ensure that that they are fair and just.

BY MOSES MATENGA

Speaking at a consultative meeting on the alignment of laws jointly organised by the Parliamentary Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs and the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) over the weekend, Zindi questioned why the Speaker’s rulings were not subjected to scrutiny.

“I hope I am not being rude to the Speaker on why the Speaker’s rulings can’t be challenged. Is it backed by a piece of
legislation? How do we subject the Speaker’s ruling if we feel his ruling maybe offside?” Zindi asked.

In his response, Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda jokingly said: “I hope my closing remarks don’t amount to a ruling which may not be subject to contestation. When she (Zindi) said my Speaker, my Speaker, I felt very possessed, I am not sure to what extent.

“Any rulings by the chairman derive authority from the Standing Regulations as read together with the Constitution.”

Mudzi South MP Jonathan Samukange (Zanu PF) told MPs and representatives from the ZLHR and Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs that Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede should follow the law and not formulate his own views on matters.

He was referring to an incident where Mudede was allegedly refusing to implement a constitutional requirement on dual citizenship.

“I went to see him with my clients and I took with me the Constitution. The Constitutional Court has a ruling on the issue also, but he refused, saying he has his own views. His duty is to implement, not to formulate his views,” Samukange said.

Mudede was not available for comment.

The veteran lawyer also showered ZLHR director Irene Petras with praises, describing her as a “champion of human rights”.

“To me, she is a champion, an enforcer of human rights who has put herself on the line to protect citizens’ rights. I believe she has done it from the heart, not for any gain,” Samukange said.