Zimbabwe: Parly Drama As Opposition MPs Clamour for Mthuli Ncube

Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube addresses Parliament on the state of the economy on May 15, 2019.

THERE was drama in parliament Wednesday as MDC MPs shouted down Ministers Obadiah Moyo and Ziyambi Ziyambi, preventing them from taking slots within house processes while demanding Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube to make a ministerial statement on the state of the country's economy.

Health Minister Moyo was set to present his own ministerial statement while Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi was slotted to lead the Second Reading of the Consumer Protection Bill.

However, MDC MPs would have none of it as they felt an update on the country's volatile economic situation and solutions thereto was more important.

MDC Mutare Central MP Innocent Gonese said, "We need answers to challenges we are facing as an economy. We are duly elected MPs and the only game in town is finance business in the House of Assembly.

The MPs chanted "Mthuli! Mthuli! Mthuli!" leaving acting Speaker William Mutomba with no option but to allow the Treasury boss to make long awaited statement.

However, the MPs were later to be disappointed after another acting Speaker Tendai Mavetera adjourned parliament before any debate on the presented statement took place.

MPs had earlier on grilled Ncube who seemed not to be bothered by the heckling by the charged members who wanted to know why the minister has not shown any compassion with hardpressed citizens he is taxing to the last cent.

Ncube's unpopular 2 percent tax on every electronic transaction introduced late last year has so far raked in almost RTGS$500 million at the expense of the impoverished population.

Some opposition MPs demanded his resignation, together with some non-performing ministers.

At one point during the session, firebrand MDC Zengeza West MP Job Sikhala warned Ncube for what he termed disrespectful behaviour.

"I was carefully listening when all other Ministers were answering questions from Honourable Members of Parliament.

"I take strong reservations over the way the Minister of Finance and Economic Development responds to questions from MPs.

"Mr. Speaker Sir, what the Honourable Ministers must understand is the principle of the separation of powers in the Executive, the Judiciary and the Legislature.

"For them to be Ministers does not mean to say they are more superior than us. We are also an arm of Government in terms of the separation of powers.

"So when we ask questions in this House, we plead with our Ministers to respect us. If they do not respect us, we will also do the same to them," fumed Sikhala.

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