The Sunday Mail
Sunday Mail Correspondent
THE winners of the by-elections held on March 26 will be sworn in this week, after the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) gives Parliament the full list of successful candidates, Clerk of Parliament Mr Kennedy Chokuda has said.
Further, Parliament business is expected to move to the new Parliament building during the first half of this year, with Government set to decide what will happen to the current building.
In an interview with The Sunday Mail, Mr Chokuda said:
“The swearing-in of members will be done at the earliest possible date, most probably the first week of April, once ZEC has officially written to Parliament giving us the full list of all the successful candidates. We note that on 31st March 2022 ZEC gazetted the list of successful candidates and hence we expect that communication any time from now,” he said.
Mr Chokuda said the benefits due to Members of Parliament (MPs) will be extended to the new members and these will include the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) for this year and next year.
“In respect of vehicles this will be treated on a case by case basis depending on the status of the member. The new members will get a vehicle as expected. Those returning to Parliament and who had received a vehicle during the life of this Parliament have already been covered and hence will not get a new vehicle. The law says a Member is only eligible for one vehicle every five years. However, if a Member was recalled before they received a vehicle they will still be eligible to receive a vehicle,” he said.
Mr Chokuda said the uptake of CDF by MPs has been good with more than 80 percent of members having accessed it last year.
“There have been many impactful and exemplary CDF Projects around the country and across the political divide. Examples include the completion of several clinics, classroom blocks, solar-powered boreholes, and dams in some constituencies,” he said.
All Portfolio Committees have also been instructed to engage with the respective Ministries to ensure that all bills that were outlined in the State of the Nation Address by President Mnangagwa are brought to Parliament timeously, said Mr Chokuda.
He said Parliament’s plans to establish a television station were very much alive and this would be done once the digitalisation of airwaves has been completed. As a short term measure, a Parliament radio station will be set up.