OPPOSITION legislators yesterday caused a scene in the National Assembly singing in protest over failure by Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi to facilitate debate on the Electoral Amendment Bill, which has not been debated since Parliament resumed sitting on Tuesday.
By VENERANDA LANGA
The House had to be recalled to sit this week in order to debate and pass Bills, including the Electoral Amendment Bill, but Ziyambi yesterday dodged the debate, with the majority of Zanu PF missing in the House amid reports they were campaigning for primary elections.
After the question-and-answer session, Ziyambi moved for adjournment of the House, but MDC-T chief whip Innocent Gonese objected to the adjournment, saying the opposition was ready to debate amendments to the Bill.
When Acting Speaker of the National Assembly, Rueben Marumahoko moved to adjourn the sitting, opposition legislators shouted “No”, drowning Zanu PF’s “Yes” for the adjournment.
When Marumahoko called for dividing of the House to vote on whether it should be adjourned, Glen View North MP Fani Munengami said there was no need for the vote and debate on the Bill must resume.
But, Marumahoko used his powers and adjourned the House, which resulted in MDC-T MPs singing Zanu Yawora (Zanu PF is rotten).
Later, Gonese told journalists: “Ziyambi’s behaviour is erratic because yesterday he moved for waiver of automatic adjournment of the House and suspension of government business so that private members’ business takes precedence to discuss the Bills and we expected that today they would mobilised their members so that we debate the electoral amendments.
“I do not know what has caused this about turn. Ziyambi said the reasons were that one of the movers of the amendments Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga was not around, but I do not think that is a valid excuse. I doubt if today (Thursday) we will be able to proceed.”
Gonese said Parliament was supposed to be on break, but was recalled to debate the electoral law amendments, which has not been done and was waste of taxpayers’ money.
Some of the amendments to the Bill, which the opposition are pushing include that printing of ballot papers must be transparent and the printer must be chosen through public tender.
“The law says they should not exceed the required ballot papers by more than 10 000, but last elections they exceeded by 35 000,” Gonese said.