THE opposition MDC-T front bench members this week introduced five motions in the National Assembly on health policy proposals, food shortages and worsening power cuts in the country as the party seeks to make its presence felt in parliament despite its minority status.
The MDC-T was accused of “sleeping at the wheel” during the unity government’s tenure with critics saying it failed to push hard enough for media and security sector reforms, repeal of draconian laws including the Public Order and Security Act (Posa) and Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa), amang other issues.
Since the official opening of parliament by President Robert Mugabe three weeks ago, MDC-T legislators who boycotted the official opening over alleged rigging of the July 31 polls which swept Zanu PF to power, have been attending parliament, but not taking part in debates. However, the MDC-T has introduced six motions since parliament started sitting last week.
MDC-T leader of the opposition Thokozani Khupe is pushing for the introduction of a mandatory levy to cater for cancer treatment.
Khupe said she was worried about the lack of accessibility and affordability of breast and cervical cancer treatment facilities in the country, arguing women were increasingly succumbing to cancer but the state’s response was lethargic.
International relations and cooperation shadow minister Gorden Moyo’s motion, seconded by Bulawayo South MP Eddie Cross, calls upon parliament and government to send a condolence message to the families of Kenya’s Nairobi Westgate Shopping Mall victims who died in a terrorist attack last month.
Over 70 people of different nationalities were killed and 100 people injured by a Somali-based Al-Shabaab terrorist group in a three-day siege of the affluent shopping mall.
Agriculture, land and water development shadow minister Samuel Sipepa-Nkomo’s motion on food security in the country “resolves to set up a parliamentary committee to inquire into the food shortage crisis currently engulfing Zimbabwe and calls upon the government to implement an urgent non-partisan drought and starvation mitigation programme”.
MDC-T chief whip Innocent Gonese moved a motion calling on the government to “immediately amend laws that are not in harmony with the new constitution”.
These laws include the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Bill, Constitutional Court (Concourt) Bill, Provincial and Metropolitan Councils Bill, Gender Commission Bill, National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Bill and Zimbabwe Land Commission Bill.
Mabvuku MP James Maridadi’s motion seeks to have parliament probe the power sector as the country continues to experience erratic supplies of electricity adversely affecting industrial production, among other concerns.
Last week, the party’s health shadow minister Ruth Labode introduced a motion on the general health sector in Zimbabwe, which is in dire straits.