TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013 —
Two special senators representing people with disabilities in Zimbabwe’s parliament, who were left out of parliamentary thematic committees last week, were today assigned to different committees after complaining bitterly about their exclusion.
Last week Thursday Senate President Edinah Madzongwe notably omitted Nyamayabo Mashavakure and Annah Shiri when she announced those who would service on six thematic committees.
Madzongwe did not say why the senators were left out of the committees last week, but today announced that Mashavakure has been appointed to the Human Rights and Indigenization and Empowerment thematic committees. Shiri will serve in the Gender and Development and Millennium Development Goals thematic committees.
Senator Mashavakure says he is happy about being assigned to two thematic committees. He says it is important that Parliament and citizens realize that society includes competent, intelligent people with disabilities.
Mashavakure added that despite what happened last week, he and Senator Shiri have worked well with lawmakers from the House of Assembly and Senate.
Reacting to last week’s exclusion of the lawmakers from thematic committees, Centre for Disability and Development director Masimba Kuchera said such incidents must not be repeated.
Mashavakure and Shiri were elected by people with disabilities to represent them in the Senate, in accordance with provisions of the new constitution.
Thematic committees play a critical role in shaping debate and crafting laws in both houses.
Meanwhile, the Senate sat for only 18 minutes today as there was little business in the house. Lawmakers proved unwilling to debate the presidential speech.