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Zimbabwe Lawmakers Attack Truant Ministers

  • Gibbs Dube

Parliament of Zimbabwe

Parliament of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean lawmakers say ministers who are failing to attend crucial parliamentary debates should have their salaries cut or be expelled by the government as they are derailing development activities in the country.

Some of the legislators, who convened their sessions Tuesday in both chambers following a three-week adjournment, said they spoke with one voice in parliament in an attempt to tame some of the rogue ministers.

Gwanda North lawmaker Thandeko Zinti Mnkandla said they agreed that President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai should intervene and punish the ministers who are crippling Zimbabwe’s growth.

The parliamentarians were debating a motion introduced by Silobela lawmaker Anadu Silulu calling for the severe punishment of truant ministers earning more than $1,000 a month.

Mnkandla said there are high hopes that principals of the unity government will take action against the ministers. “They should punish them for the benefit of the public.”

Parliament is set to deal with several outstanding motions including the $750 million deal signed by the government and Indian firm, Essar Africa Holdings, for reviving the collapsed Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company.

The deal nearly collapsed after the Ministry of Mines blocked the handing over of iron ore reserves to Essar claiming that the government was set to lose millions of dollars in potential revenue.

Various House of Assembly and Senate committees also resumed business with the Water, Lands and Resettlement portfolio committee investigating the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s Farm Mechanization Program conducted before the formation of the unity government in 2009.

Problems bedeviling Green Fuel (Pvt) Limited currently holding over 10 million liters of ethanol and operations of Shabanie Mashaba Mine will also be top on the agenda of the lower house.