Enhancing Parliament’s use of social media platforms critical

SAPST is implementing a one-year programme that seeks to enhance meaningful and inclusive citizen participation in parliamentary business in line with the dictates of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Act, 2013, particularly Section 141 (Public access to and involvement in Parliament) thereof. The constitutional provision has also been entrenched in the Parliament of Zimbabwe’s Standing Rules and Orders which require Portfolio Committees to consult the public on all Bills falling under their respective purview.

The project acknowledges that while Parliament has made some strides in consulting the public on public policies and draft legislation, there are still glaring implementation gaps that have rendered the current public consultation efforts less meaningful and far reaching. This is particularly the case with regards to citizens in remote rural areas and marginalised social groups. The intervention seeks to strengthen the capacity of Parliament to reach out to more citizens including the marginalised social groups that are often left out from the public consultation process.

Social media is one of the main communication tools that Parliament can use to interact with citizens. As such, SAPST facilitated a training workshop for Parliament secretariat to equip them with best skills and ensure that the use of ICTs and social media platforms in disseminating information to the public is entrenched in the parliamentary system as a best practice. The major objective of the workshop was to explore the feasibility of enhancing Parliament’s use of social media platforms and new technologies to share information and engage its stakeholders, particularly members of the public.

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