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Mnangagwa admits blundering


HARARE West MP Jessie Majome (MDC-T) last week blasted members of the executive for bypassing parliamentary portfolio committees and breaking the House’s standing rules each time they brought protocols for ratification.


Majome raised the issue when Environment minister Oppah Muchinguri sought the ratification of the bilateral agreement between Zimbabwe and Mozambique over the Pungwe Watercourse.

Majome said the executive had been breaking Standing Order number 20(c), which stipulates that portfolio committees must consider or deal with all treaties, conventions and agreements relevant to them that are negotiated or entered into by government.

“I am raising this because I am not aware that the relevant portfolio committee on environment has indeed considered this treaty. I do not think it bodes well for Parliament to ignore our very own standing rules and orders,” she said.

“If we do not take ourselves and our rules seriously, we cannot expect the Zimbabwean public to respect us as a Parliament,” she said.

Leader of the House, Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa admitted the oversight by the executive to bring the protocols first before parliamentary committees before they are brought for ratification in the House.

“Yes, it was an oversight and I think this (involving Parliament) should be done in the future,” he said.

Muchinguri said the bilateral agreement with Mozambique over the Pungwe Watercourse, was meant to minimise potential conflicts between the two countries over water.

“The agreement outlines measures jointly adopted by the parties for the sustainable utilisation of the Pungwe watercourse, which includes the joint responsibility to prevent, reduce as well as to control pollution of both surface and ground water for purposes of enhancing the quality of the waters and the surrounding ecosystems,” she said.

Muchinguri said the agreement would safeguard Zimbabwe’s interests in the sustainable supply of water to Mutare, as well as the utilisation of water from the Pungwe river basin in general, for afforestation, livestock management and tourism, and create opportunities for other forms of cooperation in different sectors.

The watercourse is managed under the Pungwe Basin Trans-boundary Integrated Water Resources Management and Development Programme, a joint initiative between the two governments that was established by the Joint Water Commission.

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  1. The executive is a parliament all by itself, and even a judiciary too. Read the constitution ushered in february 2013. They do what they want with the protection of the constitution we adopted. Now the country and its systems must suffer dereliction and neglect at our own peril.

  2. Pliz when reporting give us a bit if some background on why zim & moza need a agreement of this sort on river. We are left guessing whether its becoz the source of the river is right at the border. Try to enlighten on why these agreements are needed. We all dont come from honde valley

  3. Parliament might need to interrogate such treaties, and look at ways of tying up this treaty with other cross-border issues like Feruka, human and goods movement, double taxation etc because if the river is in Zimbabwe and Mozambique want to have its say in the management of the river then perhaps lets extend the issues to cover all areas of cooperation!!!

  4. After a serious reflection, and without being an alarmist, the Executive made a serious blunder here. Perhaps the treaty should not be ratified before undergoing rigorous review by Parliament, and not limited to the portfolio committees but extended to every concerned citizen . These are immense issues with serious implications to be decided by one arm of state.

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