Sunday, 4 April 2021

ACADEMY FOR MPs

Parliament has approved the setting up of an academy aimed at addressing capacity building and training needs of legislators and its staff.

This was said by Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda during the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding between Parliament and Zimbabwe Economic Policy Analysis and Research Unit last week.  

Adv Mudenda said this would be achieved through collaboration with development partners that would provide research and identify training needs and ensure that Parliament played its legislative, oversight and representative roles effectively.

“In keeping with its vision of being a strong, independent, people-driven, world class Parliament and consequent to its previous Committee on Standing Rules and Orders meeting, Parliament approved the establishment of the Zimbabwe Parliament Training Academy.

“That Academy seeks to address the capacity building and training needs of Parliament. This is a virgin area of compelling cooperation between ZEPARU and our Parliament wherein ZEPARU would be expected to provide research materials for the academy’s modules that would be relevant for the capacity building of Members of Parliament and their staff,” said Adv Mudenda.

“Depending on the ZEPARU’s quality of research over time, Parliament may engage ZEPARU to extend its research excellence to Parliament so that the curriculum of the academy may be upscaled to diploma and degree programmes in Parliamentary studies akin to other similar institutions elsewhere in the world such as in Pakistan.”

He said the signing of another MoU with Zeparu testified the two institutions’ mutual commitment to achieve greater heights in fulfilling a shared vision and goals.

“As ZEPARU is an economic policy analysis and research institution that seeks to promote evidence based and informed policy decision making by the public, private sector and civil society in Zimbabwe, it is hoped that ZEPARU will proffer a critical mass of knowledge to the Parliament of Zimbabwe as it endeavours to actualise its constitutional roles of oversight, legislation and representation,” he said.

Parliament, said Adv Mudenda, had unwavering confidence in ZEPARU’s intellectual research capacity as proven by its production of an incisive baseline survey on economic literacy for parliamentarians.

The institution had also crafted the economic literacy handbooks that were distributed for study by Parliamentarians.

The handbooks have been utilised by legislators to effectively improve their economic literacy as they embark on tailoring the annual National Budgets in the context of implementing the National Development Strategy 1.

In 2017, Zeparu, was also commissioned by the Zimbabwe Women and Resource Center to produce the Gender Budget Monitoring and Expenditure Tracking Tool Kit for Parliament.  

“Such a commendable track record must be extolled, especially as we renew the MoU in order to leverage on past symbiotic relationship between Parliament and ZEPARU,” he said.

He implored both Parliament and Zeparu to conduct research into those areas that will bring quick wins to the economy such as curtailing illicit financial outflows from the country.

Zeparu executive director, Dr Gibson Chigumira pledged to enhance cooperation between his organisation and Parliament. Herald

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