Monday, October 07, 2013

(TALKZIMBABWE) All MPs sworn in, save for two from MDC-T
This article was written by Our reporter on 3 September, at 19 : 54 PM

Members of Parliament from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) party led by Morgan Tsvangirai have been sworn in alongside all the other legislators from Zanu-PF.

This is a turnaround from the MDC-T’s threat that they will boycott government after they lost the election to Zanu-PF.

The swearing ceremony started just after 9 am in the morning with the legislators taking the oath in batches of nine in alphabetical order. Clerk of Parliament, Austin Zvoma was presiding.

There was slight drama as some members of the National Assembly initially missed the swearing in ceremony. These included Tendai Biti, Kudakwashe Bhasikiti and Nelson Chamisa, who later tried to persuade parliament officials to have them sworn in in a different batch.

The three were finally successfully sworn in.

MDC-T MPs Dangamvura Chikanga MP Arnold Tsunga and Joel Gabuza missed the swearing in ceremony as they were late.

A small group of rowdy MDC-T backbenchers, when Samuel Sipepa Nkomo and wife Rose were taking oath, could be heard shouting ” Shumba ya Jonathan Moyo”, apparently in reference to Rose Nkomo who beat Professor Moyo in Tsholotsho North constituency

Clerk of Parliament, Austin Zvoma who was conducting the swearing in ordered Dzivarasekwa MP Solomon Madzore of MDC-T to sit down after he had walked forward in a bid to have himself sworn in as he had not yet arrived when his name was called out.

Other legislators who took oath included Zanu-PF members Murewa South MP Biggie Matiza, Outgoing Defence Minister and Chirumhanzi Zibagwe MP Emmerson Mnangagwa, Outgoing Mines Minister Obert Mpofu and his wife, Outgoing Minister for Presidential Affairs and Headlands member of National Assembly Didymus Mutasa, Outgoing Tourism and Hospitality Minister and Masvingo South MP Walter Mzembi, Norton MP Chris Mutsvangwa, Francis Nhema and Sylvester Nguni.

Mudzi South MP Jonathan Samkange shook hands with Emmerson Mnangagwa and Kembo Mohadi soon after he (Samkange) had finished taking his oath. Samkange stood as an independent after Mashonaland East Zanu PF leadership barred him from contesting on a party ticket.

Families and relatives celebrated the MPs’ victory during the harmonized elections.

The first business of the House started with a motion to elect the Speaker and the business was officiated by Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku. Zanu-PF’s Jacob Francis Mudenda was sworn in as Speaker of Parliament. Deputy Speaker, Zanu-PF’s Mabel Chinomona was also sworn in.

The Speaker gave his first speech in which he congratulated his fellow MPs for winning and pointed out that the executive is there to implement public programmes while the judiciary concerns itself with matters of justice, but they were nevertheless institutions of the same government led by President Mugabe.

He said the House should not be a rubber stamping body, but should respect the other two arms of government, the Judiciary and the Executive.

He also reminded legislators that the chamber was not a chamber for assaulting or shouting out obscenities, but was an august House that should be respected and that all legislators derived their mandate from the people and the people expect seriousness in conducting business.

He promised to perform his Speaker duties according to electorate`s expectations.

When the floor was opened to members, Didymus Mutasa gave his congratulatory message, reminding the legislators that in his days as Speaker of Parliament, it was difficult to control the MPs, and he hoped this Parliament would be different. He said that he expected members of Zanu PF (who make up the majority ) to respect the Speaker in order to achieve progress in this current session.

Vice President Joice Mujuru said sometimes people look down upon those from the rural areas such as Binga where the speaker comes from, and other areas like Dande and Malipati which are remote. She said this should be shunned by the House. She added that there are no special areas or areas that are more important than others.

When the Parliament was adjourned, the House broke into song.

All MPs from Lower House were sworn in save for Gabuza and Tsunga who were absent.

Each parliamentarian was allowed to bring three family members or friends for the occasion. There are 210 constituency MPs, 60 from the women`s quota.

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