Zimbabwe: ZBC gives live TV coverage to parliamentary proceedings

Regulation & Policy

Finally, the electorate will be the judges, courtesy of ZBC. The decision by the public broadcaster to give live television coverage to parliamentary question time every Wednesday and radio coverage by Spot FM for ordinary sittings from Tuesday to Thursday when the House is sitting will make and break some of our representatives in their chosen political field.

In the same way that people have been glued to their television screens to follow the trial of South African athlete, Oscar Pistorius, accused of killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp and making conclusions where they think the athlete is lying, the electorate will also have the same platform to assess if the votes they cast are worth of the men and women they sent to Parliament.

Live television broadcast coincidentally came several days after MDC-T legislator for Kuwadzana East, Nelson Chamisa moved a motion calling for live and recorded coverage of parliamentary proceedings, indicating the plans were already underway.

Steering the motion, Chamisa said live broadcast would allow the electorate to see representatives who go to Parliament to sleep.

"It is very important that when Members of Parliament choose to confuse or mistake Parliament for a bedroom, the people are given the right to see who is converting Parliament into a bedroom and who is indeed, going to Parliament to do the work that they are supposed to do," said Chamisa.

Indeed, some have gone for the five year period ducking and diving, with some not even making the maiden speech as they maintain a not so golden silence in the august House.

In the past, people have spoken of seeing legislators come and go, now that there will be live television coverage for at least question time, I reckon we will watch them come and sink. True, those who play with the minds of the electorate will pay the price.

We should expect a stampede where MPs, some of whom have never uttered a word before, will try to get their faces beamed as they ask questions so that people from Chirumhanzu to Chiendambuya, Mberengwa to Mbungo, Filabusi to Fairfield will watch them appear to be doing something in Parliament.

But it's not just about one opening their mouth that will do the trick; raising relevant issues will win the hearts of the people.

Our MPs can no longer drive to Harare just to collect fuel coupons or to sleep in hotels. Now they are forced to be accountable to the electorate whether they like or not.

Source: The Herald - BY LLOYD GUMBO, 18 APRIL 2014