GWERU – The unthinkable happened yesterday in the Midlands province after a parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs arrived at Gweru Theatre to find no participant present.
Committee chairperson, Misheck Mataranyika blamed the humiliating experience to Covid-19 restrictions.
“I think Covid restrictions affected this event negatively as many people find it hard to travel under these restrictions. Those affected could also have mobilised towards the event so that when we arrive, we take off from a well informed people’s position. When mobilising, inclusion should also be key as in most cases the visually impaired and deaf are left out,” Nduna said.
The committee was supposed to get people’s opinions towards the proposed National Prosecuting Authority and Attorney General Amendment Bills.
Highlighting what could have caused a zero attendance, prominent Gweru lawyer who is also Gweru Urban MP Brian Dube said parliament is not doing enough to mobilize and make people aware of their scheduled hearings.
Dube also said it was sad that the committee would record that they have made a consultation and amendments will be effected without the required input.
“People can’t be blamed for the no show because parliament is not doing enough to publicise these hearings. They could also have consulted the law profession, which is the one directly affected by this on most probable day since Mondays are usually swamped and honestly few if any would make it.
“The sad part however is that parliament records that they came to Gweru and any proposed amendments will be implemented without input from people. The bill however does not have much controversy as it seeks to align the existing laws to the constitution,” Dube said.
“Major amendments we seek as legal practitioners are towards professionalisation of the fraternity by adding clauses that calls for professional qualifications for one to be considered a prosecutor against a background where some of the people on these posts are drawn from the police and army,” Dube added.
Meanwhile, political parties have been accused of making a mockery of consultative processes in the Midlands as debate following the recently held Constitution Ammendement No.2 and the Cyber Security Bills held in Chiwundura and Kwewe respectively followed the predictable polarised lines of national politics.