HARARE – Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Mable Chinomona has said the new Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister Happyton Bonyongwe is automatically the new Leader of Government Business in Parliament, but government will have to first make an official announcement.
Chinomona was responding to GlenView North MDC MP Fani Munengami who wanted to know whether Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa was still the Leader of the House.
The question stirred murmurs in the National Assembly. “Order, order! Order Honourable Members. Can we have order?” Chinomona bellowed.
“The Hon. Member has a right to ask what he wants to know and understand in this House. So, we do not have to waste time. Hon. Member, I know it is going to be announced, but you will know that another duty of the minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs is being the Leader of the House. That is automatic.”
Munengami shot back: “So, whom are we going to ask our questions today? Are we going to direct our questions to the vice president or what?”
Chinomona said: “If you have any questions pertaining to the Leader of the House, you can direct them to him (Mnangagwa).”
Munengami said: “Is he the Leader of the House, Madam Speaker?” he said amid inaudible interjections.
“Yes, it is our right to know because there is no point for us to waste our time and to waste the vice president’s time asking him questions which he is not supposed to answer. Can we know the Leader of the House?”
“Hon. Member, order,” Chinomona said pounding her desk with the gavel.
Munengami continued: “It is the duty of the government chief whip through you Hon. Speaker, to tell us who is the Leader of the House,” he said amid inaudible interjections.
“Order, order Hon. Members,” Chinomona said.
Munengami continued: “We do not want to be confused. It is simple, we want to know who is the Leader of the House. Is that a very big issue? It is not a big issue, honestly.”
Chinomona shot back: “Can we have order in the House. Can we have order please? Hon. Munengami, you had a point of order you wanted to know. I answered you by saying government is going to announce, then why are you worrying? Where is your worry from?” she said amid inaudible interjections.
“Can you please wait for that.”
Munengami had said “we have had a very good working relationship with the Vice President, Hon. Mnangagwa, when he was still the Leader of the House.”