The Speaker of the Parliament of Zimbabwe, Hon. Advocate Jacob Francis Nzwidamilimo Mudenda, is in Cape Town, South Africa, attending the South Africa Legislative Sector Oversight Summit which kicked off today at the Century City Conference Centre in Cape Town.

The Summit, which 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,” is being attended 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.

Participants at the Summit are expected to reflect on the effectiveness of the Legislative Sector in the implementation of constitutional mandates, explore transformational approaches and strategies to ensure effectiveness of sector oversight, share experiences within the sector and exchange ideas with regional, continental and international counterparts on effective oversight practices and explore partnerships and opportunities for collaboration with relevant and critical role players in the oversight ecosystem.

In welcoming delegates to the Summit, the Speaker of the National Assembly of South Africa, Hon. Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, emphasised that though the theme focuses on the South African legislative sector, the Summit is an opportunity for all the participants to share experiences on the current challenges with existing oversight models and harness best international practice to enhance oversight, guarantee accountability and ensure greater public confidence in the work of Parliaments.

Officially opening the Summit, the Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, Hon. Paul Mashatile, underscored that citizens are critical role players in policy and law-making processes through their elected representatives. In that regard, he implored Parliaments to strive to be people-centred institutions that bring the voice of the people to government cognisant that effective oversight ensures that public institutions serve the needs of the people.

The Summit could not have come at a more opportune time as the Parliament of Zimbabwe is in the process of developing its 7th Institutional Strategic Plan which will provide a vehicle for the 10th Parliament to achieve its ambitious Vision of a “Strong, Independent, People-Driven, World Class Parliament”. A strong Parliament holds the Executive and public institutions and agencies to account for the execution of government policies and programmes without fear or favour and ensures that implementation of government policies and programmes remains attuned to the needs and aspirations of the people.

Hon. Speaker Advocate Mudenda, who is leading from the front in the development of the Parliament of Zimbabwe Institutional Strategic Plan (2024 – 2028), is expected to share Parliament of Zimbabwe’s experiences in effective oversight practices and draw from the input of his counterparts to incorporate transformational approaches and strategies that strengthen Parliamentary oversight in the new Institutional Strategic Plan.

The two – day Summit will run from the 30 – 31st January 2024.