SPEAKER of Parliament Advocate Jacob Mudenda has castigated Zimbabweans who speak ill about the country when they are in foreign lands.
Adv Mudenda was speaking during a plenary session on the first day of the induction workshop on parliamentary research procedures and methodology attended by the Legislative Assembly’s staff at a Bulawayo hotel on Thursday.
Clerk of Parliament Mr Kennedy Chokuda is also attending the workshop which ends today.
The seminar is aimed at strengthening research skills of Parliament staff whose key responsibility is to deliver information data as required from time to time within the institution.
Adv Mudenda said it is critical that researchers acquire the right skills and use the best available evidence-based scientific research which must result in a systematically collated body of knowledge.While the Speaker did not mention any individual by name, some members of the opposition and their surrogates have been on a global whirlwind, criticising Government’s policies. Some have recently been criticising Government’s refusal to completely dollarise the economy.
Advocate Mudenda said very few countries around the world are using the United States dollar as their legal currency, hence calls for the country to dollarise so that the economy picks up were not scholarly justified.
“Political context is important, when you are a Zimbabwean and you don’t agree with the general policy of your country in a specific area, you would rather be quiet when you are out there or support the currency of that policy and this is standard internationally. You don’t get an American or British criticising their Government when they are out there,” he said.
In his keynote address, Adv Mudenda said in the execution of their constitutional mandate, parliamentarians require information on socio-economic issues to clinically analyse motions and Bills as well as scrutinise public policies tabled before Parliament.The speaker said MPs depend on parliamentary resource researchers in searching for knowledge data.
“To that extent, a well-resourced and skilled human capital is an invaluable source of independent, neutral and non-partisan analysis of the knowledge bank that must be avoided to members of Parliament.
To that end, this workshop becomes historic and distinctive contribution towards the strengthening of the operational skills of the human capital represented here today. It is gratifying to me to note that this workshop is also part of the deliberate efforts by the institution to address key result areas (KRAs) numbers one and six of our Institutional Strategic Plan in our quest to become a strong, independent, people-driven, world class Parliament,” said Adv Mudenda.
He said one of the outcomes of the workshop will be an empowered human resource of Parliament that adequately responds to the information and research needs of members of Parliament in particular and of the institution in general. Adv Mudenda said much may be known about the use of evidence based research in some public institutions, accent but much has not been directed at the research requirements of Parliament and its processes.
“Leveraging on robust research which rides on relevant academic expertise can equip members of Parliament with the right information in executing their roles. Parliamentary Research is not theoretical and abstract. It must be grounded on the specific knowledge needs of speeches to be delivered by presiding officers at various regional and international fora,” he said.
“Parliamentarians need researched information data on motions, bills, committee enquiries on various subject matters, the budget presentations, petition subjects and public policy statements such as the National Development Stratey1 (NDS1). Parliamentarians cannot access the requisite knowledge data if they are not supported by well-grounded Parliamentary researchers.”