Parly Speaker Denies Gagging Zim Legislators
Harare, March 13, 2014 – Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda says he does not seek to gag Parliament from probing corrupt public officials and called on legislators to fight graft as it hampers the economic turnaround envisaged under Zim-Asset. Mudenda said this during the opening ceremony of the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation awareness seminar for parliamentarians yesterday.
A fortnight ago he warned legislators who make unsubstantiated remarks against fellow MPs, Parliament officials and members of the public that they risked contempt of Parliament charges.
This followed threats by Zimra Commissioner-General Gershem Pasi to take legal action against Mbizo legislator Settlement Chikwinya (MDC-T), who claimed in the House that the tax agency boss earned US$310 000 a month.
“I believe that we all agree that our number one enemy during the implementation phase of this economic blueprint is fighting the scourge of corruption, which has the potential of fatally bleeding our economy.
“We are, therefore, duty bound as parliamentarians to ensure that corruption is uprooted from our society and that the results-based management approach becomes the rallying cry for all Government programmes and projects in line with the ruling Zanu (PF) crafted Zim-Asset economic blueprint. I promise you parliamentarians the Speaker shall not gag anyone on this one,” he said.
Mudenda said while privileges and immunities enjoyed by parliamentarians were not limitless, MPs should not make baseless allegations in the House under the guise of freedom of expression.
Meanwhile, Mudenda urged MPs to have the political will to implement Zim-Asset despite resource constraints.
“Parliament cannot afford to be a bedroom chamber and a rubber stamping institution
“It must lead the anthem of the Zim-Asset economic blueprint so that all of us in Zimbabwe can sing its melodious tune without discord,” he said.