Mudenda performs about-face as he lifts ban on MDC MPs posing questions

HARARE – Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda on Wednesday performed a spectacular climbdown after admitting that his decision to prevent MDC MPs from asking ministers questions was ill-considered.

Mudenda went into a strop after MDC MPs snubbed the official opening of parliament by President Emmerson Mnangagwa last month because the party does not recognise him as a legitimately elected leader.

Mudenda vowed to dock the allowances of the MDC MPs, and also banned them from asking ministers questions.

On Wednesday, Mudenda said he had reflected on his October 23 ruling which he now wished to suspend.

He told MPs: “Following my ruling in the National Assembly on the 23rd of October 2019 regarding the eligibility of MDC-A Members of Parliament to question vice presidents, ministers and deputy ministers on policy issues and the subsequent point of order raised by Hon. (Temba) Mliswa on the same on October 24, 2019, I have reconsidered my ruling taking into consideration the role of Parliament as augmented in Section 119 of the Constitution.

“It is the role of Parliament to protect and uphold the provisions of the Constitution. The Chair has subsequently reflected on the matter… Accordingly, my ruling of October 23, 2019, is hereby suspended sine die to avoid a paralysis of parliamentary processes. I so rule.”

The MDC had criticised Mudenda’s decision as irrational. The party accused the Speaker of taking offence on behalf of Mnangagwa.

Mliswa, the independent MP for Norton, told Mudenda that his about-face “talks about the humility that you have.”

“Let me thank you for the ruling that you made in having to rescind a decision that you had made. It talks about the leadership qualities that you have. I think it is important that when a leader is approached and there is a plea to look into a matter to review it, they do that and come up with a very progressive decision. I want to thank you wholeheartedly for that decision.  It talks about the humility that you have. It does also teach us as leaders that we must do the same,” Mliswa said.

Source: Zim Live

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