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Speaker of Parliament, Hon Mudenda attends SADC-PF session in Angola

Story by ZBC Reporter

Speaker of Parliament, Honourable Advocate Jacob Mudenda is in Luanda for the 55th Southern African Development Community – Parliamentary Forum.

He was received by Zimbabwean Ambassador to Angola, Ambassador Dr T. Madzvamuse.

Parliament of Zimbabwe is part of several Parliamentary multilateral organisations, including Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU), Pan African Parliament (PAP) , SADC-PF, as part of Parliamentary diplomacy as espoused within the engagement and re-engament agenda. Speaker Mudenda is accompanied by Honourable members who include Chief Chinhenzva Chigwajara, Maybe Mbowa, Mercy Mugomo, Tendai Nyabani and Karenyi Kore.

On the background of the 30th June being an International Day of Parliamentarism (IDP), Speaker Mudenda began the day by giving a short interview on the occasion of the IDP in the context of celebrating 135 years of IPU existence reminiscing on the critical importance of the promotion of sound governance in the world premised sustainable peace, order and good governance rooted on constitutionalism, legality and the rule of law.

The day is also commemorated on the role of IPU in international cooperation through the founding principles of IPU as espoused by the IPU founding fathers Randall Cremer and Frederick Passy who affirmed that conflicts should be resolved through Parliamentary diplomacy, dialogue and negotiation. It is a day in which the IPU celebrates the amplification of voices of Parliamentarians who must have the democratic space that allows them to exercise oversight on the executive, enactment of laws and representation of the electorate as they carry out these tripartite responsibilities to the best of their abilities.

Furthermore, IPU celebrates its birthday in the context of advancing the 17 United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by introspecting to what extent these are being actualised, moreso when they are going to lapse within 6 years by 2030 from the 15 years of commencement in 2015.

It is also a day of reflection on the promotion of gender equality and empowerment particularly of the womenfolk whereby the womenfolk should have access to finance without the requirement for collateral but on the integrity of the business proposal. In this vein, the Zimbabwe Government has established a Women’s Empowerment Bank to bolster the empowerment of women economically.

Through Constitutional Amendment Number 2, the Zimbabwe Government has also guaranteed proportional representation of 60 women Parliamentarians until 2033. Additionally, it is also a day where the IPU has to reflect on youth empowerment and engagement in Parliamentary processes. As for Zimbabwe, youth empowerment has been realised through Constitutional Amendment Number 2 where the youth are guaranteed 10 Parliamentary seats in the National Assembly as well as the revamping of Youth Vocational Centres for skills and entrepreneurship development.

The day of Parliamentarism is an opportunity in which Members of Parliament are expected to revisit their role in monitoring and protecting human rights and freedoms within their Parliamentary jurisdictions by ensuring that all citizens throughout the world enjoy a sustainable Bill of Rights as declared by the United Nations in 1948. Again it is a day in which the IPU celebrates the protection of the dignity of Parliamentarians that needs to be respected and not infringed upon. Zimbabwe wishes all Parliamentarians in the 180 IPU Member Parliaments a happy anniversary of 135 years of IPU existence.

The Zimbabwean delegation also dedicated the day to look at all the documentation in preparation for the SADC-PF Assembly and related meetings, especially the perusal of the Executive Committee Report and the Treasurer’s Reports. More critically the delegation will be looking at the SADC-PF Strategic Plan (2024 to 2028) in readiness for its discussion within the SADC-PF programme of Committee meetings. Essentially, the document is expected to shape the future of the Regional Parliamentary bloc, especially within its Transformation Agenda into a fully-fledged SADC Regional Parliament.

Speaker Mudenda is expected to be part of the Executive Panel that will interrogate the Strategic Plan tomorrow. Another key highlight will be the official opening ceremony on Tuesday 2nd July 2024, which will be graced by Angolan Vice President, Her Excellency, Eduardo Francisco da Costa.

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