Civil Society organisations have an essential role to play in the policy process, and bring to attention the importance of strengthening the interaction between the public and Parliament, an expert has said.
Outlining the role and functions of Parliament at an ongoing training workshop for civil society organisations in Mutare, SAPST Programme Advisor Mr Phillip Muziri said civil society organisations should be actively involved in Parliamentary processes and procedures to promote good governance.
The workshop attracted more than 30 participants from CSO’s that include ZESN, ZIMTA, NANGO, ZCTU, ZINASU, Mhakwe Trust, CCZ, Padare, Saps, AEDPT, MYFT, Conversations with our Fathers and Churches.
Making reference to Section 141 of the Constitution, Mr Muziri indicated that Parliament should facilitate public involvement in its legislative and other processes and in the processes of its Committees, ensure that interested parties are consulted about Bills being considered by Parliament, unless such consultation is inappropriate or impracticable, and that it should conduct its business in a transparent manner and hold its sittings, and those of its committees, in public, subject to limitation that have to be fair, reasonable and justifiable in a democratic society.
He highlighted the petitioning process as one of the major ways of successfully engaging Parliament that civil society organisations should embrace.
Mr Muziri also urged participants to attend public hearings so that their views can be incorporated by Parliament during policy making.