Thursday, August 28, 2008

(TALKZIMBABWE) MDC legislators embarrasing

MDC legislators embarrasing
Samuel Garande–Opinion
Thu, 28 Aug 2008 12:22:00 +0000

DEAR EDITOR–Let me register my disgust at the manner in which the newly elected Movement for Democratic Change legislators brought our Parliament into disrepute. After watching a video tape of the proceedings on Tuesday on CNN, I am worried about the calibre of legislators, and opposition leaders, we now have in the respectable Chamber.

I wonder if the MDC-T party has any quality control processes in its selection of leaders and whether it has any kind of leadership code by which all members should abide. Most of them need at least a day at a finishing school, or at Toastmasters International.

Is also seems the party works on impulse in its decision-making, flip-flopping on decisions to attend Parliament or not. I sincerely hope that some of these legislators will not be included in a future government by President Mugabe; otherwise our country will go to the dumps.

Frustration and antipathy towards politics are rising in our country, fuelled by a flurry of allegations and counter-allegations, innuendoes and counter-innuendoes, and the like from the opposition and some misguided elements from the ruling party.

Rather than respecting institutions and getting on with the business at hand, as mandated by the people who voted them into power, we saw MDC-T members forfeit the responsibility they were given by voters on March 29, and make a mockery of one of the respectable institutions we have in the country.

This was a first in the history of the august Chamber.

The MDC-T should understand that democracy is a peaceful way of adapting and responding to changing times. Embracing and harnessing the democratic process is the only way we, the Zimbabwean people, can ensure our country can change for the better without having resort to such barbaric actions as demonstrated on Tuesday 26 August 2008.

Judging from the events on that day, Zimbabwe’s problem is not that it lacks institutions, but that it lacks good calibre leadership. The strong tradition of open debate about issues of national importance is easily being eroded by these “hooligans” as President Mugabe called them – who do not have an understanding of the importance of our Parliament and the processes going on therein.

The last session of Parliament, which effectively was equally shared by the two main political parties, maintained its respect despite sharp ideological differences. Legislators like Professor Welshman Ncube and Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga conducted themselves well and co-existed peacefully alongside Zanu PF legislators without the schoolboy drama we saw earlier this week. Other opposition legislators, who entered Parliament at a very tender age, conducted themselves very well, in sharp contrast to the current crop.

If our elected leaders feel secure in openly putting into disrepute the most entrenched, most permanent institutions of our country, is it any wonder that the talks currently going on have taken the route they have, and God knows where Zimbabwe is headed?

The previous six sessions have done a good job of respecting our Parliament and related institutions and respecting them. We all know, however, that that era could soon be coming to an end when political activists who have no understanding of their role occupy such spaces.

The rough-and-tumble nature of Zimbabwean politics is simply reflective of our failure to develop the right kind of attitude needed in co-existing politically with those whose ideas we do not subscribe to.

Institutions such as Parliament are necessary for democracy to flourish and flower, and should never be abused by self-seeking, egotistical individuals.

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