Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
A VIBRANT Parliament needs adequate funding to effectively discharge its constitutional mandate, Speaker of the National Assembly, Advocate Jacob Mudenda has said.
He said there was need to collaborate with development partners to augment Parliament’s meagre resources.
Adv Mudenda said this during the signing ceremony of Memorandums of Understanding between Parliament and several cooperating partners.
“Given the well-documented budgetary constraints that our country is currently saddled with, it is trite to mention that a strong Parliament, which is a palpable sign of a healthy democracy, will require all the financial and technical support that it can master to effectively fulfil its legislative, representative and oversight roles,” he said.
“An independent Parliament which stands for the hopes and aspirations for the people of Zimbabwe, without fear or favour, must not be encumbered by the paucity of resources from the exchequer.
“That is why you as our cooperating partners are and should be dependable compatriots in mitigating our Parliament resource deficit. On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over pessimism in our quest for constitutional democracy.
“We have congregated together because we have chosen unity of purpose over discord and despondency.”
Adv Mudenda said the MOU was informed by Parliament’s institutional strategic plan of 2018 to 2023.
“The focus areas for cooperation between Parliament and our partners are thus drawn from the strategic goals in the institutional strategic plan of our Parliament whose overarching vision is to foster a strong, people-driven and world class Parliament,” he said.
“While this ceremony alone is to all intends and purposes a victory in itself, this victory alone is not the change we seek, it is only an opportunity for us to make that change.
“That cannot happen if we do not commit to implement this memoranda to their latter and spirit, let us therefore ensure that these MOUs do not turn into celebrated archival records of insignificance fairy tales.
“It is axiomatic that a monitoring and evaluation matrix is put in place to monitor the sustainable implementation of the memoranda periodically, if not annually.
“In that way we would have resisted to be paper tigers.”
Senate President Mabel Chinomona said the agreements signed were built on previous ones Parliament and other institutions had in strengthening programmes aimed at achieving the Legislature’s strategic objectives.
“These agreements are a significant milestone in this difficult economic environment, existing challenges which seem complex can only be tackled by working together at all levels,” said Cde Chinomona.
Some of the cooperating partners are Veritas, Law Society of Zimbabwe, Legal Resources Foundation, Zimbabwe Institute, Women’s Action Group and Southern Parliamentary Support Trust.