IRI trains CSOs on parliamentary processes

International Republican Institute (IRI) hosted a two-day training workshop on the legislative agenda of Parliament aimed at educating various stakeholders on how they can play a proactive role in parliamentary processes.

The workshop held in Gweru was attended by civil society organisations, community-based organisations, residents associations and media practitioners. 

Topics covered during the workshop included roles and functions under the new Constitution, the budget process and the legal framework, petition process and procedures as well as key provisions of bills among others.

Speaking to CITE on the sidelines of the workshop some of the participants said they will use the information they were equipped with to enhance their work.  

Daniel Chigundu, News Editor at Open Parly, an online-based news organisation that covers parliamentary Sessions said the training workshop was effective as he learnt some legislative processes that he was not aware of.

“There is no media school that will teach us intensively about the Parliament as we have learnt in this workshop. Now we understand the Parliament procedures better and are more knowledgeable about how to deal with legislators when covering their stories,” he said.

He added that having this workshop together with other stakeholders is an advantage as it creates room for interaction and to understand the challenges they face in engaging with Members of Parliament. 

Another participant, a former contestant in the 2018 harmonised elections, Nkululeko Nkala said the workshop was eye-opening as it has broadened his knowledge of the legislative processes. 

“As an aspiring politician, this workshop has been very informative. From the lessons we had, I really wish that everyone would understand the power that they have to hold underperforming legislators to account,” he said. 

“I also got to understand that there is a need to change our whipping system. Political parties are carrying Parliament which is not working for the people. Our systems are not perfect but we are the change that we need so we should work to make things better.”

A member of the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association who was also in attendance said they will make use of the knowledge they acquired at the workshop to equip residents on their rights and how they can hold legislators to account.

“It was quite insightful to learn about the petitioning process. From here when we go back to the communities we will encourage the people to enforce that the legislators govern them in a just way and represent their needs effectively.”

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