AFTER her ouster from the chair of her committee, Concilia Chinanzvavana commented that her ouster had been unconstitutional, not procedural and contrary to Parliament’s Standing Rules and Orders.


Chinanzvavana was correct.

Section 139 of the Constitution states that parliamentary proceedings must be regulated by Standing Rules and Orders, which are drawn up by the Houses on the recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee on Standing Rules and Orders (CSRO).

According to the National Assembly’s Standing Rules and Orders, the chairpersons of all portfolio committees must be appointed by the CSRO – Standing Order 18. The chairing and composition of committees must take into account the number of MPs from each party in Parliament and also gender representation.

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It is only if no chairperson has been appointed (which is not applicable in present circumstances) or if the appointed chairperson is absent, that committee members may elect a temporary chairperson for themselves (Select Committee Rules, rule 8).

It follows that only the appointing authority (the CSRO) may remove a chairperson from office, whether temporarily or permanently.