PARLIAMENT has dumped debate on a motion to thank former President Robert Mugabe for his address during the official opening of the current Fifth Session of the Eighth Parliament, after President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ascension to the Presidency last November.
The motion had been moved by Zanu PF proportional representation MP Annah Rungani in September this year. Debates on motions in reply to the President’s speech have often been characterised by praise-singing of Mugabe by Zanu PF legislators, while opposition MPs criticised his policies.
However, last week before Parliament adjourned, Mabvuku-Tafara MP James Maridadi (MDC-T) suggested that the motion be removed from Parliament’s Order Paper, as it was no longer useful to discuss Mugabe’s speeches.
“This is a new dispensation and we cannot be debating the past. I think we must look into the future and allow Mugabe and his past to go quietly so that we then look forward to the future,” he said.
“I think it is a bit demeaning on the incoming President Mnangagwa that we still talk about the past, President Mugabe. I think it is very unfortunate, but I think that motion should fall away.”
Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda agreed it was not proper to keep on debating about Mugabe when he is no longer in power.
“I think it does create some invidious position for debate and I will kindly ask the mover of the motion to withdraw the motion from the Order Paper,” Mudenda said.
Rungani had to withdraw the motion, and, instead, Parliament would now debate issues raised by Mnangagwa in his inaugural State of the Nation Address.
Meanwhile, Parliament has taken a short Christmas break, but will return early in January to pass the 2018 National Budget, as well as to pass different Bills that have come under the attention of the House, as well as international agreements that require urgent approval.
Some of the Bills currently before Parliament include the Electoral Amendment Act, the Public Entities Corporate Governance Bill and others.
Parliament will also discuss the proposed reappointment of Mildred Chiri as Auditor-General for a further term in office effective from February 25, 2017. – NewsDay