HARARE – Members of Parliament have called for the relocation of Parliament to Bulawayo.
The lawmakers made the proposal after complaining of lack of sitting space in the Parliament building as male and female MPs are squashed uncomfortably in the august house during parliamentary debates.
Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga moved the motion. She was supported by MDC legislator Lucia Matibenga.
“I am proposing that in the short term to change the venue of sitting to Parliament to Bulawayo city,” Misihairabwi-Mushonga said.
Although officials are already hunting for alternative accommodation, 270 MPs will in the meantime have to squeeze into the National Assembly that was built to accommodate only 150 members.
The legislators said the current parliamentary venue does not provide a conducive environment for serious debate.
They said the move would devolve arms of state and bring Parliament to other centres in the country.
Joram Gumbo, Zanu PF chief whip, also supported the motion and asked for more resources from treasury to build a new Parliament building.
Gumbo suggested that Parliament be moved to Midlands province arguing it was at the epicentre of the country and could be the ideal province for hosting the temporary sitting.
Meanwhile, the parliamentary portfolio committee on Local Government chaired by Zanu PF MP Irene Zindi received oral evidence from Killian Mpingo, permanent secretary in the ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development.
Mpingo informed the committee that urban councils urgently needed firefighting equipment to avert destruction of properties and loss of lives in the event of fire outbreaks.
“Harare, Bulawayo and Kwekwe cities are the only urban councils which have sound firefighting equipment and in the event that fire broke out in other cities countrywide, we have to rely on these three cities’ equipment,” Mpingo told the lawmakers.
“We are negotiating with ministry of finance to sign a bilateral agreement with India to obtain the fire equipment for all the councils.”