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Mliswa questions absence of deputy ministers in parly

Norton legislator Temba Mliswa has questioned the absence of deputy ministers in parliament indicating that by virtue of being deputies they are supposed to stand in place of ministers and answer questions from legislators in the house.

Asking questions in the house on Wednesday, Mliswa said "Mr. Speaker, you know that this institution is very important in understanding the role of Government. As such, Section 107 is very clear on who should be here and the list that you have just called out has a number of Cabinet Ministers and not Deputy Ministers. So my question is on what the role of Deputy Ministers is when Cabinet Ministers are not there."

"I thought that by being deputy, which is a clear meaning you are there to cover up for the Minister who is not there and you should be taking up questions. We do not see Deputy Ministers here. I do not know where they are. They are paid by this Government and must understand what the Minister is doing so that when they come here they are able to inform."

Mliswa said there are many issues happening in this country which seek their attention but they are never here.

"Why do we have such a bloated Cabinet and Government? They must just pack their bags and do absolutely nothing and when they speak they do not have information or what it takes to convince this House of anything that they are doing. It is up to the Minister to then second his Deputy to attend Parliament when they are absent," he said.

In response speaker of the house Jacob Mudenda thanked Mliswa for his observation but indicated that it was not all Deputy Ministers who were absent.

"There are some who are here - You should know them yourselves, I do not have to pick them up but Hon. Mliswa, your point is totally valid. Acting Leader of Government Business, please convey the message accordingly. They have no excuse not to be here," he said.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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