MDC-T MPs Eddie Cross and Anadi Sululu have vowed to press ahead with their motion calling for the censure of ministers who skip parliament to avoid scheduled question-and-answer sessions by backbenchers.MDC-T heavyweights have ordered the duo to withdraw the motion, calling for accountability by members of the executive, fearing it may expose the party ahead of elections, but Cross said they would disregard the directive because most ministers in the coalition government think they are beyond criticim.
Cross said in an interview some of his party leaders were informally lobbying him and Sululu to withdraw the motion.
“Some ministers, even in our party, are offended by the motion and have informally been sending overtures to us to drop the motion,” said Cross. “However, Sululu and I are equally determined to move the motion since it will improve transparency in government.”
Cross said the days for the executive to use parliament as a rubber stamp and treat it as a doormat are over.
“We will not allow ourselves again to be used as doormats. Finance minister Tendai Biti now knows it after we threatened to block his 2012 budget,” Cross said.
Cross singled out Tourism minister Walter Mzembi as the only member of the executive who has treated parliament with respect since 2009.
Those with outstanding questions on the order paper include Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa, State Security minister Sydney Sekeramayi, Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo, Industry and Commerce minister Welshman Ncube, Transport and Infrastructure minister Nicholas Goche, Youth and Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere, State Enterprises and Parastatals minister Gorden Moyo and Home Affairs co-ministers Kembo Mohadi and Theresa Makone.
The MDC-T move to thwart the motion comes hard on the heels of Zanu PF’s whipping of Goromonzi North MP Paddy Zhanda into line after he recently tried to push for an investigation into allegations of corruption and mismanagement at the Reserve Bank.