EDITORIAL COMMENT: Ministers should heed President’s advice and serve the people

President Mugabe

President Mugabe

Government ministers have an onerous task of leading the implementation of Government policies and programmes. It is the ministers who give policy direction to those under them and supervise the implementation of Government programmes.

It is therefore ministers who are to blame in the event of failure in the implementation of Government programmes. The ministers, as already alluded to, play a very critical role in the governance matrix and as such should be men and women of integrity. The President appoints government ministers from a pool of MPs who would have been voted into office by the people but a few who are not MPs are appointed into Cabinet because of their expertise or skills.

The ministers who are part of the executive arm of Government, have the responsibility to ensure that Government executes its mandate that it is given by the people. It is therefore disturbing to learn that some government ministers are not attending Parliament where important issues to do with governance issues are tabled for debate.

Addressing MPs, ministers and members of the public while opening the Fifth Session of the Eighth Parliament on Tuesday, President Mugabe said ministers should lead by example by attending parliamentary business.  He said those who absconded lacked the conduct expected of them. “We expect robust and well-informed debate from members who should always be present, punctual, disciplined, professional and impeccable Parliamentary conduct,” said Cde Mugabe.

This is not the first time that the issue of ministers’ absence from Parliament has been raised. MPs have complained many times about the absence of ministers from the august House and at one time the Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda had to write to President Mugabe expressing Parliament’s concerns on the issue.

What the ministers should appreciate is that their presence in Parliament is crucial. The robust and well informed debate that the President alluded to on Tuesday, is not possible without the ministers who represent the executive. The MPs usually have several issues raised by their constituencies which should be responded to by different ministers but if the ministers abscond, these issues remain outstanding.

It is in Parliament where ministers are made to account for the operations of their respective ministries and as such ministers should to take parliamentary business seriously. Ministers, just like the rest of the MPs, are there to serve the people of Zimbabwe and attending parliamentary business is one of the ministers’ core business.

The ministers are the face of Government and as such their conduct has a direct bearing on Government image. We want to once again implore ministers to heed President Mugabe’s call for them to lead by example.

Article Source: The Chronicle