Zimbabwe's MPs to stand in parliament due to limited space

MORE than half of parliamentarians in the National Assembly are expected to follow proceedings while standing as the Chamber can only accommodate about 160 at a given time.The National Assembly is composed of 270 legislators following the adoption of a new Constitution which provides for a quota system of 60 additional female legislators.

In the last Session, the Lower House had 214 legislators who would squeeze to fit during major parliamentary events such as official opening and national budget presentation.

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Addressing journalists during a media briefing today, Clerk of Parliament, Mr Austin Zvoma acknowledged the challenge posed by the limited space of the Lower House.

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“As you may appreciate, It is now evident that the facilities here were facilities not meant for 350  Members, plus staff and the visitors because this is the only Parliament in the country. In the meantime, we operate from these facilities, inadequate as they are,” he said.

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“We expect very good attendance, but it can only accommodate the maximum that it can. The others might have to sit in the gallery, stand in the passage or wait just outside the Chamber to go in and debate,” he said.

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He said the constraints was not only to the chamber but other facilities like toilets as it did not only accommodate legislators, but staff of Parliament and visitors.