Auxilia Katongomara, Chronicle Reporter
Primary and Secondary Education Minister, Dr Lazarus Dokora was almost chucked out of the Senate last week as legislators protested the absence of ministers for question time.
Senators complained that the failure by ministers to attend its question and answer session was a waste of tax-payers money and reiterated that if the trend continues they must be charged with contempt of Parliament.
Dr Dokora was the only minister who attended Senate and the legislators argued over whether to keep him or not.
After the temporary President of the Senate, Chief Fortune Charumbira announced that Dr Dokora was the only minister in the Senate, members expressed their displeasure over their behaviour.
Chief Charumbira said the Senate was wasting tax payers’ money through truant ministers who were failing to fulfil their constitutional duties. “We are actually not utilising taxpayers’ money to its fullest value because we just come to talk without any proper conclusive position which can yield any result,” said Chief Charumbira.
“I think we have the crisis which our administration and the Presiding Officers should look into so that the ministers can respond to all the motions. They should come to respond to both Questions without Notice and Questions with Notice.”
He said truant ministers must be dealt with according to Standing Rules and Orders of Parliament.
“So, we stand guided in future but Clerk of Parliament, if there was a way of having a resolution or a motion adopted as Senate to ensure that we call upon ministers who do not come, somehow they are reprimanded in terms of the Standing Rules and Orders like we do for committees, contempt of Parliament, because a minister has gone for more than three times without coming to answer questions. Unless we have good grounds, I think a committee should be set up by Parliament to investigate why that minister is behaving like that.”
Senator Morgen Komichi (MDC-T) was the most vocal saying ministers belittled the Senate yet they attended the question and answer session in the National Assembly.
“I propose that we must protest on the behaviour of the ministers by allowing the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to go so that we can adjourn the House because it does not help us. There is serious disrespect. It is not only today Honourable president. We have been watching for the last four to five months that ministers are failing to come here,” said Sen Komichi.
Manicaland Senator Cde Shadreck Chipanga and Beitbridge Cde Tambudzani Mohadi (Zanu-PF) came to the Education Minister’s rescue saying he was representing his own ministry therefore he could respond to questions on his ministry.
“I go against that thinking of saying that other ministers are not here, therefore Hon. Dr Dokora should leave. He does not stand for all the other ministries, he is standing in for his own ministry and he has the right to be asked questions,” said Sen Mohadi.
Thereafter the question and answer proceeded with Dr Dokora being the only in the house.