Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda says he will soon advise Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko of his obligation to attend the National Assembly in terms of Parliament’s Standing Orders and the Constitution.This was after Mutare Central MP Mr Innocent Gonese (MDC-T) rose on a point of order saying VP Mphoko’s failure to attend the National Assembly to field questions from backbenchers was in breach of Parliament’s Standing Orders and the Constitution.
Mr Gonese said while VP Mphoko was entitled to sit in both Senate and the National Assembly, he had not bothered to attend the Lower House either to field questions or for normal attendance since he joined the Executive.
“I think it’s the responsibility of the chair to inform Vice President Mphoko that he has to abide by Parliament’s Standing Orders and the Constitution,” said Adv Mudenda.
Earlier on, Adv Mudenda had directed Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa to respond to the point of order raised by Mr Gonese.
In response, VP Mnangagwa said it was not his duty to respond to a point of order emanating from the floor, but that of the Speaker as the Presiding Officer, to make a ruling.
At that point, Adv Mudenda said his ruling was that VP Mnangagwa should assist Mr Gonese.
VP Mnangagwa said he agreed with Mr Gonese’s interpretation of the law that VP Mphoko was entitled to sit in either House as he was a member of the Executive.
“My colleague VP Mphoko has a choice to sit here or in the Upper House, but I am not his personal clerk to advise him which House to sit in,” he said. “As far as I know, he is fully aware that he should attend both Houses.”
Meanwhile, Adv Mudenda ejected Gokwe Nembudziya MP Cde Justice Mayor Wadyajena (Zanu-PF) from the House after he walked into the Chamber dressed in Zanu-PF regalia.
Cde Wadyajena drew the attention of legislators during question and answer time when he entered the National Assembly dressed in party regalia.
Adv Mudenda directed Sergeant at Arms Mr Nicholas Marufu to eject him.
Cde Wadyajena returned to the chamber about 10 minutes latter dressed in a suit.
Speaking during the same session, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made said the drought experienced in most parts of the country did not yet justify Government declaring it a national disaster.
Musikavanhu MP Mr Prosper Mutseyami (MDC-T) had asked if Government was not going to declare the drought a national disaster to allow other partners to intervene and assist with food distribution in needy areas.