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Honourable Mudenda underscores Zimbabwe’s commitment to inclusivity in political and decision-making processes

THE Speaker of the Parliament of Zimbabwe, Hon. Advocate Jacob Francis Nzwidamilimo Mudenda, has underscored Zimbabwe’s commitment to the inclusion and participation of formerly marginalised groups such as women and youths in the political and decision–making processes of the country.

Speaking at the South Africa Legislative Sector Oversight Summit which is currently underway at the Century City Conference Centre in Cape Town, South Africa, Hon. Speaker Mudenda accentuated Zimbabwe’s commitment to the post-millennium development agenda as evidenced by the country’s responsiveness to the operative mantra, “Nothing For Us, Without Us,” as it relates to the youth and women.

Hon. Speaker Mudenda averred that “Parliamentary oversight is meaningless and inadequate if it does not result in an inclusive governance framework that ensures that no one and no place is left behind in advancing representative democracy and in the implementation and execution of government policies and programmes.”

To that end, he noted that the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment No. 2 Act of 2021 marked a pivotal juncture in Zimbabwe’s electoral legislative landscape, as it introduced transformative measures to enhance democratic representation and inclusivity.

“Notably, the amendment ushered in the Youth Quota, ensuring the inclusion of one youth representative from each of the ten provinces, thereby amplifying the voices of the younger generation in the political sphere,” said Hon. Speaker Mudenda.

In addition to harnessing the demographic dividend resident in the growing youth population, Hon. Speaker Mudenda commended the 9th Parliament for extending the women’s quota in the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

He averred that this reflects a commitment to sustained efforts in fostering proportional representation as well as ensuring that historically marginalized groups have a substantive role in shaping the legislative landscape.

Hon. Speaker Mudenda also lauded the 9th Parliament for amending the Constitution of Zimbabwe to provide for the 30% Women’s Quota at the local authority level as a strategic step towards gender parity and women’s active participation in decision-making processes. He exhorted women and youth in political and decision-making positions to use these platforms to open spaces for the greater participation of other women and youth as this strengthens pluralistic and participatory democracy.

Hon. Speaker Mudenda’s sentiments echoed the summit’s clarion call for collaborative efforts among the three arms of government to achieve the aspirations of the people as well as to improve the livelihoods of the citizenry, including the marginalised and vulnerable communities.

The two-day summit which ends today is being held under the theme, “Striving for Oversight that ensures the realisation of a better life for all South Africans – Examining the efficacy of oversight and exploring ways to improve the quality of governance.” Among other distinguished dignitaries, the Summit is being graced by Speakers from the SADC Region and beyond at the invitation of the Speaker of the National Assembly of South Africa, Hon. Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, and the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Hon. Amos Masondo.

The summit is of strategic importance to the Parliament of Zimbabwe as it will bring to the fore some critical experiences, practices and opportunities that the institution can harness to strengthen its oversight strategies and practices. The Summit, therefore, provides the Parliament of Zimbabwe with a platform to tap into best practices from national and regional Parliaments in executing its parliamentary oversight role and deepening good governance.

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