Relinquish deputy ministers posts, says Tekeshe

Relinquish deputy ministers posts, says Tekeshe
Relinquish deputy ministers posts, says Tekeshe

Relinquish deputy ministers posts, says Tekeshe

Makoni Central legislator David Tekeshe has called for the scrapping of deputy ministers’ positions, arguing that they are just being paid to sit.

The deputy ministers in Zimbabwe, do not sit in Cabinet and they do not assume the position of acting minister.

In the absence of the minister, a minister from another portfolio is appointed to act, while the deputy minister is there.

Deputy ministers have also been failing to answer policy questions in Parliament. This has prompted the call for the relinquishing of the positions.

Speaking in the National Assembly, Honourable Tekeshe said the position should be scrapped as they are not serving any purpose.

‘’My point of privilege is coming from last week’s Question Time.  Last week I asked a question, but I was not answered satisfactorily by the acting minister.  Madam Speaker, the deputy minister was here. I think if she responded to the question, I was going to be answered properly.

‘’Why are we having deputy ministers if they cannot stand in their bosses’ shoes when they are away or on leave? Are they ceremonial deputies? They are persons who are in the Ministry throughout and you bring a foreigner from another Ministry to come and respond to questions. I think that is not correct.

‘’If the deputy ministers are not able to stand in the position of their bosses, why can we not relinquish the positions because it is burdening the fiscus?

If Vice Presidents can act, deputy ministers should do the same

Tekeshe argued that if the Vice President can act when President is away, the deputy ministers can do the same.

‘’When the Honourable Speaker is away for two or three weeks, you will be there. When the President is away, the Vice President is there but when the Minister is away, there is an acting minister, but the Deputy is there, enjoying all the perks that the Minister gets. So, is that not a duplication of work?

‘’You are burdening the fiscus. I would like to understand whether these deputy ministers’ positions are ceremonial. Please, let us get rid of that and just have the minister,’’ he said.

President has the prerogative to appoint acting ministers

However, in response to the call by Honourable Tekeshe, the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Tsitsi Gezi said, the appointment of an acting minister is at the prerogative of the appointing authority.

‘’Thank you Honourable Tekeshe. Deputy ministers are not ceremonial. It is the prerogative of appointing authority to appoint acting ministers.

‘’Deputy ministers can respond in the absence of the minister or in the absence of the acting minister. If the acting minister is there, he will be the one in charge. The deputy minister can respond when there is no acting minister at that moment in the House,’’ she said.

Relinquish deputy ministers posts, says Tekeshe

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