Report : What happened in Parliament? An analysis of the participation of MPs 2012 to 2013

What happened in Parliament? An analysis of the participation of MPs 2012 to 2013

This report is the last of a three part series of thematic reports analysing the performance of the Seventh Parliament in the last year of its tenure. While the previous two reports assessed the aspects of the Seventh Parliament to do with attendance and gender; this last offering looks specifically at the achievements of Parliament , with particular regard to issues such as Bills passed, debates undertaken and legislative performance in general. The report notes, among other things, that:

• The levels of participation and debate among Parliamentarians were generally low, with some members spending the entire year without contributing anything to pertinent discussions;

• Although most ministers impressively managed to participate in either House of Assembly or Senate sessions, at least two-thirds of the ZANU PF ministers never participated in either the House of Assembly or Senate sessions, a worrying trend considering that they have held ministerial positions for longer;

• Question and Answer sessions – an important process in Parliament- were characterised by poor attendance by Ministers. Some Ministers tactfully side-stepped important questions. Some members addressed questions to the wrong Ministries. In some instances, procedural considerations in the conduct of the business of Parliament resulted in some questions remaining unanswered up to the end of the Seventh Parliament;

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