Clip security sector wings: Mudenda

Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda

SPEAKER of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda yesterday said parliamentary oversight should focus on national security matters to prevent abuse of power by securocrats.

Addressing students at the National Defence University in Harare on Parliament’s role, Mudenda said in the absence of parliamentary oversight role “there is a danger of security services misinterpreting their mission and acting like a State within a State, either placing a heavy strain on scarce resources or exerting excessive political and economic influence”.

Urging the country’s security institutions to act constitutionally in the national interest Mudenda said: “To bolster national security expansively, Parliament’s oversight role must focus on the multifaceted phenomenon of security such as national food security, health security, socio-economic security, environmental security and human security which are predicated on the respect of religious observance of human rights and freedoms within the government matrix.

“Effectively parliamentary oversight has thus become all the more critical to ensure that these responses are devised and implemented with full transparency and accountability.”

He said Parliament’s role in contributing to national security should remain sustainable and endure on the tenets of constitutionalism and rule of law.

“Where these legal tenets are flouted with impunity, the result is a skewed national security environment whose consequence is inevitable catastrophic disorder.

“The rule of law is a tenet that attempts to protect the inalienable right of citizens from arbitrary and abusive use of State power and force by those who have formed themselves into an oligarchy, the fertile ground for national security,” Mudenda said, adding that the parliamentary oversight included detecting and preventing abuse, arbitrary governance or illegal, unconstitutional conduct by the government and public agencies that may threaten national security.

“It must insist on the prudential use of allocated resources to government and its public agencies, thus it can improve the efficiency, economy and effectiveness of government operations in the national interests and security,” the Speaker said while urging extensive research and inclusivity on Bills brought before Parliament so that the laws pass the test of legal legitimacy and also promote national security.

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