Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu sheds tears in parliament

Mines and Mining Development minister Obert Mpofu yesterday shed tears while delivering a congratulatory message to the newly-elected Speaker of the House of Assembly Jacob Mudenda.
This happened during the swearing-in of MPs at Parliament Building in Harare, where the election of the Eighth Parliament Session’s presiding officers were also conducted.
Mudenda was elected Speaker unopposed after being nominated by Bubi MP Clifford Sibanda and seconded by Mutasa South MP Irene Zindi.
Mpofu said he grew up with Mudenda in Binga in the remote province of Matabeleland North and it was amazing that he had now risen to the rank of Speaker, before shedding tears.
“We thank our ancestors for bringing back the Speaker’s post to Zanu PF as it had gone to the wrong people
(MDC-T) during the previous session of Parliament,” Mpofu said in vernacular (Ndebele).
“I grew up together with Mudenda at an area which was neglected and his rise to the Speaker’s post is amazing.”
Mudenda is the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) chairperson and a member of Zanu PF’s central committee. Mudenda last night said: “According to the Law I have 21 days with which to resign (from ZHRC). That is being done this week.”
MDC-T members of the House of Assembly snubbed the election of Speaker of the House of Assembly as they only attended the swearing-in ceremony and left immediately after taking oath.
However, some MDC-T senators remained in Senate to observe elections of the Senate President although they did not take part.
Clad in suits and expensive attire, Zanu PF MPs, particularly those elected into Parliament for the first time, were visibly excited to be in the House while their MDC-T counterparts maintained a low profile.
Outgoing Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe, who in previous sessions occupied the front seats, yesterday took the back benches, sporting a bald head. Khupe last week said she would maintain a bald head in protest over the manner the elections had been handled.
The House of Assembly was also crowded with 270 MPs being sworn in.
“I would like to draw honourable members to the issue of space constraints that we face and we request that those who have already been sworn in should go outside and make way for others because we cannot fit at the same time,” Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma said.
Dangamvura Chikanga MP Arnold Tsunga and Binga MP Joel Gabbuza missed the swearing-in ceremony while other senators were sworn in.
The two will be sworn in at a later date.
In his acceptance speech, Mudenda promised to be tolerant of diverse political views in the House of Assembly.
“I will guarantee and protect freedom of speech in the House, of course subject to strict adherence to and respect to the Constitution, Standing Orders and any other relevant statutes. While the minority will have their say, the majority will have their way. The Speaker will allow robust debate provided MPs are tolerant of the views of others,” Mudenda said.
Mutoko North MP Mabel Chinomona was also unanimously elected deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly after being nominated by Mberengwa East MP Makhosini Hlongwane and seconded by Siphambekile Damasane (Matabeleland South).
In the Senate, Edna Madzongwe was elected President of the Senate after being nominated by Harare Metropolitan senator Charles Tawengwa and seconded by Senator Josaya Hungwe.
Madzongwe will be deputised by Chenhamo Chimutengwende.
Meanwhile, the First Session of the Eighth Parliament is set to be officially opened by Mugabe on September 17.
Source: NewsDay

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