Sunday, 3 May 2020

PARLY SITS TOMORROW


 Parliament will resume sitting, but briefly, tomorrow for the purposes of adjourning business to a new date following the extension of the Covid-19 lockdown by a further two weeks on Friday.

The Committee on Standing Rules and Orders, the senior committee that oversees Parliamentary business, met on Thursday last week to deliberate, among other things, the resumption of Parliament and possible alternatives to facilitate its business in the event the lockdown continued in one form or another.

“As a contingency measure, the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders resolved that both Houses sit on Tuesday May 5, 2020, the date to which they had adjourned, for the sake of formally adjourning to a date that will be informed by the Government decision on the lockdown or otherwise,” said Parliament in a statement.

“In this regard, and to comply with social distance requirements, only MPs and senators from Harare, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West and Mashonaland Central and all ministers and deputies will attend the session on Tuesday (today).

“And even then, only members from the four provinces who are able to drive to Parliament and back to their constituencies on the same day will be required to attend.”

Parliament has taken advantage of the lockdown to put in place measures that will allow the institution to function without jeopardising members and staff in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Legislators took an early break due to concerns arising from the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, but there have been issues from some that Parliament had not been actively responding to the disease. 

Parliament said the outbreak heightened its resolve to accelerate the use of technologies in its work.

“The institution is thus working on setting up facilities for virtual meetings, where appropriate, without compromising the requirements of the national constitution, law and the public interest,” it said.

“During the lockdown, legislators had been exercising their representative role through educating their constituencies on the outbreak.

“Further they have been meeting with local Covid-19 taskforce structures highlighting the requirements of their constituencies.” Herald

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