Zimbabwe’s Parliament has defended concerns that the institution has been idle during the current lockdown by revealing the setting up of facilities for virtual meetings.
A press statement from the Office of the Cleck says the Parliament has not been idle during the extended lockdown but has instead taken advantage of the period to put in place measures that will allow the institution to function without jeopardising the health of members of staff as well as visitors.
“The outbreak has heightened our resolve as Parliament to accelerate the use of technologies in our work.” the statement reads.
“The institution is thus working on setting up facilities for virtual meetings, where appropriate, without compromising the requirements of the national Constitution, law and the public interest.”
The Parliament also defended Parliamentarians who have been blamed for not being actively responding to COVID-19.
“This could not be further from the truth. Zimbabwe operates as a constitutional democracy in which the observance of the principle of separation of powers and the rule of law are primary. In line with the principle of separation of power, Parliament has three main roles, namely, legislative, oversight and representative, ” went the explanation.
“Accordingly, Members of Parliament have been exercising their representative role during the lockdown through educating their constituencies on the outbreak.”
“Further, they have been meeting with the local COVID-19 Taskforce structures highlighting the requirements of their constituencies.”
The Parliament, which was supposed to adjourn on the 26th of March 2020, adjourned early on the 18th of March 2020 due to concerns arising from the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
The parliament is supposed to continue on 5 May 2020.