BY VENERANDA LANGA
LEGISLATORS yesterday accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa of appointing incompetent ministers who were incapable of giving lucid responses in Parliament.Norton MP Temba Mliswa demanded that Mnangagwa should be summoned to Parliament to explain why his ministers were incompetent and disrespectful to him by continuing to dodge questions from MPs.
Mliswa said the current crop of ministers were not loyal to the appointing authority, adding that the late former President Robert Mugabe’s appointees were loyal to him.
He further said Mnangagwa’s ministers were “dogs that do not bite”.
The issue arose after opposition MPs raised points of order with the Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda every Wednesday over truancy by ministers during question-and-answer sessions.
“They do not apologise and for a long time we have spoken about this issue and Parliament is proving to be a toothless bulldog — so what power do we have because we continue to be disrespected as they do not come to respond to questions from our constituencies and make government accountable because people are suffering,” Mliswa said.
“Tomorrow (today) I will move a motion where I will invite the President to this House to respond about his useless incompetent ministers who he is loyal to but are not loyal to him.
“Mugabe appointed ministers that were very loyal to him, but Mnangagwa’s ministers are very disloyal to him. He has appointed dogs that do not bite.”
Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya added: “In line with the Speaker’s ruling last week, I will also move a motion that ministers that have not been coming for the past three weeks be charged with contempt of Parliament.”
Mutare Central MP Innocent Gonese said it was now time to draw a line in the sand so that they are charged with contempt of Parliament.
Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Tsitsi Gezi ruled that the MPs can move their motions about ministers on a day that is not a Wednesday.
This irked the opposition MPs who interjected vociferously demanding that State Security minister Owen Ncube should avail himself before the House to be grilled over his allegations that the MDC Alliance was smuggling arms into the country and preparing to cause disturbances.
“Where is the Minister of State Security? He issued a statement that he needs to explain to the House that there are people that are smuggling guns. Why is it that those people are not being arrested? He must come to explain,” shouted Mliswa.
Zengeza West MP Job Sikhala added: “We are tired of being accused and our names being soiled. He must come and explain.”
The interjections subsided after Gezi threatened to throw Sikhala out of the House.
When Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda entered the House, Mliswa demanded that a Privileges Committee be set up to investigate the ministers’ contempt, insubordination and misconduct.
“You need to move a proper motion in that respect and also identify the ministers. I am equally disappointed that even the ministers that had attended have now disappeared,” Mudenda said.
Meanwhile, Finance deputy minister Clemence Chiduwa was yesterday quizzed by MPs over the COVID-19 social assistance packages.
Chiduwa said of the $18,2 billion COVID-19 recovery package, $6,1 billion was allocated towards the recovery of agriculture, $3,1 billion as working capital for industry, among other allocations that $3,2 billion was allocated for winter wheat production.