Monday, 25 August 2008

Zimbabwe Parliament

Laying in State in mulungushi -Farewell levy mwanawasa, Africa will miss you [RIP]

Legislators to be sworn in today i Zimbabwe
Herald Reporter
ELECTED Members of Parliament will be sworn in today while the two MDC formations have identified their candidates for the post of Speaker of the House of Assembly. The official opening of the Seventh Parliament will, however, be held tomorrow with President Mugabe expected to officiate.There will be two swearing-in ceremonies starting with House of Assembly members this morning followed by that for senators in the afternoon.The convening of the Seventh Parliament comes after the Sadc Heads of State who met in Johannesburg, South Africa, two weeks ago proposed the august House should open to allow the will of the people as expressed in the March 29 harmonised elections to take effect.This was after the regional bloc received a report from South African President Thabo Mbeki, who is facilitating the inter-party dialogue between Zanu-PF and the two MDC formations.Secretary for Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Mr David Mangota said the Seventh Parliament was expected to formulate laws to pave way for the Human Rights Commission.The Human Rights Commission was created through Constitutional Amendment Number 18 and seeks to, among other things, investigate human rights abuses in the country."Constitutional Amendment Number 18 2007 makes provision for the birth of the Human Rights Commission. Parliament will, however, pass the necessary legislation, which would enable Government to establish the Commission. "One remains optimistic that the Commission will be born during the life of this about to be born Parliament," said Mr Mangota in response to inquiries on delays in the setting up of the Commission."Shortly after the passage of the enabling law, Zimbabweans became busy with preparations for and the actual electoral process as well as the presidential run-off election which took place in June 2008. "These matters remained of paramount importance and they stalled the establishment of the Human Rights Commission."He expressed hope that a new Parliament building would be constructed during the life of the Seventh Parliament."Construction of the new Parliament will commence sooner rather than later. Treasury will make available the requisite funds for the purpose. "The new Parliament building will, hopefully, be completed within the lifespan of this Seventh Parliament of Zimbabwe," he said.The legislators to be sworn in today are also expected to pass the necessary constitutional amendments that should give effect to the resolutions agreed upon during the inter-party dialogue held under the facilitation of President Mbeki.Some of them include the increase of the number of non-constituency Members of Parliament from the current five to 12 to accommodate those from the three political parties.It was also agreed, during the negotiations, to create the post of Prime Minister and the constitutional amendments should define his or her role.The two MDC formations yesterday confirmed their candidates for the post of the Speaker of the House of Assembly while Zanu-PF said it was still consulting with other political parties on the way forward.The election of the Speaker will be conducted this morning soon after the swearing-in ceremony of members.MDC-T spokesman Nelson Chamisa said they had nominated the party’s national chairman, Lovemore Moyo, for the post."We have unanimously settled for Mr Moyo for the post of the Speaker of the House of Assembly and we are prepared to back any other candidate from the other political party for the post of deputy."We are still consulting with other Members of Parliament from other political parties and some of them have endorsed our candidate," said Chamisa.A by-election would follow should Moyo be successfully elected as the Speaker as he is the Matobo House of Assembly constituency MP-elect.Spokesman for the MDC Edwin Mushoriwa said they had identified Gwanda Member of Parliament Paul Themba-Nyathi as their candidate.Mr Mushoriwa said his party was in the process of impressing upon other political parties that "it was in their interest to have a candidate from their formation"."It is strategic to have a person from our party because we feel that there would be more free debate when the presiding officer is from our side than any other side. We are still lobbying and persuading other parties to accept our candidate," he said."We are confident that something will come out of the consultations we are currently carrying out."Zanu-PF chairperson for information and publicity sub-committee Cde Patrick Chinamasa said the ruling party would convene its caucus this morning at Parliament Building for a briefing on the progress made in nominating the party’s candidate."Consultations are still ongoing and we will convene our caucus at 0800 this morning as part of our consultations," said Cde Chinamasa.The Herald is reliably informed that Zanu-PF’s national chairperson, Cde John Nkomo, is Zanu-PF’s candidate should they fail to reach an agreement with other political parties.Zanu-PF has 99 House of Assembly seats, MDC-T 100, the MDC with 10 while the remaining seat went to independent candidate Jonathan Moyo.The Seventh Parliament presents an interesting scenario where Zanu-PF and the MDC-T would be in a tactical battle to assert control over the law-making chambers.With the seat distribution, the scales are delicately balanced as they restrict either party’s inclination to dominance