Farirai Machivenyika and Nyemudzai Kakore
The Ninth Parliament should focus on legislation that makes the country an attractive investment destination to achieve its vision of attaining a middle-income economy by 2030, legislators who took their oaths of office yesterday said.
Clerk of Parliament Mr Kennedy Chokuda presided over the swearing-in of Parliamentarians from the National Assembly and Senate.
Zanu-PF secretary for Information and Publicity and Senator for Matabeleland South Simon Khaya Moyo said: “The Government is a product of the party and it is the party which lays down the roadmap on how we should perform vis-a-vis the people’s expectations. That also originates from the manifesto that embodies all that the people said and we believe those who are serious about the mandate of the people must fulfil it.”
Sen Khaya Moyo said time to sleep was over. It was time for delivery.
“It is time for less talking, less politicking and for serious delivery. It is time for people to be seen to be working to fulfil people’s expectations in terms of economic emancipation.
“We must avoid sleeping in Parliament because this is not a place to sleep. They must go somewhere else if they want to sleep.
“Those who come to snore in Parliament must know that snoring is never on the Order Paper.
“They must know they are here to fulfil the aspirations of the people. They must not be ‘missing persons’ but members of Parliament,” he said.
Zvimba West legislator and Zanu-PF Mashonaland West chairman Cde Ziyambi Ziyambi said he expected debate to centre on the economy.
“The expectation that we have coming into the ninth Parliament is for a shift towards legislation that will enhance the ease of doing business and the economic development of our country,” he said.
“You can notice from the policy pronouncements by His Excellency that he is looking at moving Zimbabwe towards a middle-income country by 2030.
“That can only be done by having a Parliament that enacts legislation and an enabling environment that allows business to thrive.
President of the Chiefs Council Chief Fortune Charumbira said Parliament should be at the forefront of tackling corruption.
“The President has outlined a vision to grow the economy, so debate should focus on that and less on politics. However, the economic growth we envisage can only be achieved if we fight corruption robustly,” he said.
Masvingo North legislator Cde Davis Marapira said the life of the ninth Parliament should see the scaling up of the Command Agriculture programme that has benefited thousands of resettled farmers.
Mberengwa West Constituency MP Cde Jorum Gumbo said: “Eighty percent of the members in the ninth Parliament are young, vibrant and have a lot of enthusiasm. I hope that we will see an active Parliament, but this will also come with its challenges with regards to new MPs being able to know the rules of governance,” he said.
“However, we are happy that the new political dispensation is re-engaging with our erstwhile friends culminating in Foreign Direct Investment for the country. We hope that all the promises that the Government made will be achieved. Over the years we have had good policies but lacked funding. But with President Mnangagwa’s mantra that Zimbabwe is open for business, we are going to see a big change.”
Cde Gumbo called on women to uplift each other by voting for professional women to be lawmakers.
He said the electorate should desist from identifying women who venture into politics as people of loose morals.
Chivi South legislator Cde Killer Zivhu said he would focus on revamping management of local authorities.
“As a new legislator, my focus is on the amendment of local legislation such as the Rural District Councils Act and the Urban Councils Act, which need to be revisited.
“There are so many challenges that local authorities face and they can only be corrected if the Acts are amended. The informal sector needs to be formalised so that they (operators) have legislation which protects their businesses and that they are also able to earn a living. As we speak, the informal sector is being treated as illegal yet the country recognises their existence,” Cde Zivhu said.
“What l am bringing to the table is development to the constituency. People from the villages grapple with problems like water, education, food security and poverty. This is an important challenge and an opportunity to use skills that l have to bring about better health, roads, education,” she said.
Glen Norah legislator Mr Wellington Chikombo from the MDC Alliance, who is also a former Harare City councillor, said he would push for the full implementation of devolution.
“Devolution is our revolution and it’s a priority. I will push that 5 percent of the national budget be given to local authorities as stipulated in the Constitution and that mayors be accorded executive authority to improve efficiency in the management of urban local authorities,” he said.
Marambapfungwe representative Cde Tichaona Karimazondo said he would push for speedy economic recovery in line with President Mnangagwa’s call to re-engage the international community and fight corruption.
Mashonaland East Proportional Representative Cde Tatenda Mavetera, who is one of the youngest MPs at 32, said she would push for women empowerment.
“My focus will be on issues to do with gender and youth mainstreaming. I hope for a revision of policies that are biased towards women. We are also looking at young people being appointed to positions of authority.
“The quota system should be extended so that women continue to be empowered and be capacitated. Young people must also be given a quota to get into Parliament just as the case with women,” she said.
Cde Mavetera, who is also an actor, said she would push for increased support towards the film industry.
Gutu South legislator Cde Pupurai Togarepi, who is the ruling party’s national secretary for Youth Affairs, said: “I expect vibrant debates. These should be focused on economic development in the main. I hope parliamentarians will rise above petty discussions that characterised past parliaments to focus on bread and butter issues.”
“The President has said there should be less politicking and more focus on the economy.This is exactly what I will push for as a new and young MP. We made promises to the electorate and as a member of the ruling party I want to ensure that we fulfill them and achieve the President’s vision of a middle income economy by 2030,” Cde Kambamura said.
Harare West representative Ms Joana Madamombe, the youngest legislator at 25 years, said she would work for the advancement of female politicians.
“Just being a female politician is difficult because of the patriarchal nature of politics in Zimbabwe. There is this culture to say politics should be dominated by our male counterparts but l want to break those chains. During my campaign l was given several labels but l managed to achieve a goal l had set for myself,” she said.
Senator Obert Mpofu, who is also Zanu PF national Secretary for Administration, said he would use his experience to enhance debate in the Senate.
“As the Senate we will act objectively not subjectively as we want to deal with our laws in a manner that will benefit the majority of our people,” he said.
“It is important that we familiarise ourselves with the Bills that the National Assembly would have dealt with and scrutinise them using the expertise we have earned during our years in Parliament.”
Nkayi South representative Cde Stars Mathe said: ” The resuscitation of the economy should take centre stage in Parliament by stopping corruption with the President already working towards that path by declaring that Zimbabwe is open for business.”
Muzvezve representative Cde George Haritatos said: “It is an exciting time to be here as a young parliamentarian but we should hit the ground running because we need to fix our economy. We all should work to fulfill the vision that has been laid out by our President.”
Uzumba representative Cde Simbaneuta Mudarikwa said focus should also be on building rural economies.
“My focus is on improving livelihoods for the rural populace especially construction of schools, clinics and methods of farming.”