Members of Parliament say they will soon engage the Executive to expedite the process of ratification and domestication of the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement (TFTA) so that Zimbabwe can benefit from its gains.
Domestication of the TFTA will dovetail into the national economic goals such as ease of doing business and ensure that Zimbabwe becomes a middle class economy by 2030.
Speaking at a sensitization workshop on the TFTA held in Harare last week, Members of Parliament further said that they should be at the forefront of the harmonisation of the regional economic policies and Parliamentary Committees should include these regional agreements, treaties and protocols in their work plans as required by Section 327 of the Constitution.
The workshop hosted by SAPST sought to sensitise the Budget Portfolio Committee and the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Portfolio Committee on the TFTA. The workshop brought together MPs, officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ZIMTRADE, and COMESA.
The main objective of the workshop was to familiarize Members of the aforementioned Portfolio Committees on the provisions of the TFTA Agreement so that they would be able to debate the Agreement from an informed position once it is presented to Parliament for ratification.
Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Adv. Jacob Francis Mudenda expressed gratitude to SAPST for organising the workshop saying it will greatly enhance the capacity of Members of Parliament in playing effective oversight and legislative scrutiny roles on regional and international instruments.
This point was also underscored by the two Chairpersons of the above-mentioned Portfolio Committees, Hon. Felix Mhona and Hon. Kindness Paradza.
SAPST Executive Director, John Makamure, expressed the organization’s commitment to provide technical support to parliamentary Portfolio Committees in order to build their capacity in the various sectors they shadow.