Eighth Parliament fails to meet set targets

THE outgoing Eighth Parliament failed to meet its set target of passing 100 Bills per year, with less than 15 Bills passed between 2013 and 2016.

BY VENERANDA LANGA

The legislators had, in their 2013 strategic plan, set a target to pass at least 100 bills each successive year.

Zanu PF chief whip Lovemore Matuke, in a report presented in Parliament last week, admitted that they performed far below the set target.

“During 2016, a total of 14 Bills were considered by committees of Parliament, and of these only six were passed into law, and during 2015, 12 bills were passed by Parliament, while 11 bills were passed in 2014,” the report said.

“Thus, it is clear from the trend that Parliament, inclusive of its committees did not meet the set target of passing 100 bills per year as articulated in the Institutional Strategic Plan.”

The legislators said there was now need for the Liaison Co-ordination Committee to set targets for passing of bills that were evidence-based as failure to do so may have serious policy implications on Parliament as an institution.

“Parliament must have a minimum of 26 committee reports per year as each committee is bound by law to table at least one report in each session,” the Liaison Committee report read.

They also expressed concern over funding of public hearings which was done by development partners, a situation they said can compromise on the independence of Parliament.

“A total of 94 public hearings were conducted in 2016 against a figure of 50 public hearings in 2016.

The only material challenge is that Parliament must take charge of the funding of all public hearings in line with the enshrined principle of acting in national interest,” the report said.

Matuke said the liaison committee had noted with concern that Parliament’s development partners would only fund certain programmes which they had an interest on, while other programmes found no takers.

“This may compromise the effectiveness of Parliament as a sovereign body.

Parliament must therefore compel the executive to fund all non-discretionary expenditure such as committee meetings, public hearings and sittings of both Houses of Parliament,” the committee said.

They said it is imperative for Parliament to get a budget which is more than $90 million to enable its committees to conduct field visits.