DFID recommends that each MP sits in only one committee

BY RUTENDO MATANHIKE

United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) has recommended that Zimbabwe’s Parliamentary committee system be revamped to put a cap on the number of portfolio committees a legislator can sit in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

The recommendation follows the completion of a DFID research on Zimbabwe’s committee system.

Speaker of the National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda told journalists after meeting DFID senior governance adviser and head of governance and economic team,

Catherine Weiss, on Wednesday that the research recommended that an MP should be a member of only one committee.

“They referred to the capacitation of our Members of Parliament so that they become effective. The recommendation was that an MP should only sit in one
committee instead of being in two,” he said.

Mudenda said Parliament would look into the pros and cons of the recommendations.

“Our idea of having a member being in at least two committees was based on the fact that we wanted these members to split into two groups in order to reach out
to the hinterland. If a member is involved in one small committee, it would be difficult to cover the 10 provinces, and we believe that our current system
helps us achieve that,” he said.

The Parly Speaker said the recommendation by DFID sought to improve committee work by the MPs as they would give undivided attention to their respective
committees.

“Their basis for this recommendation was to ensure there is concentrated effort in one committee rather than split effort. There is some justification with
regards to where we have the challenge of professional competitiveness and also time management. I think the recommendation is very sound,” Mudenda added.

He also said DFID recommended the strengthening of the Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Committee through giving positions to individuals well versed in law.
Mudenda said this was difficult, as many lawyers did not want to venture into the political law arena.

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