Chamisa says Mugabe’s wrong speech in Parliament is going to cause climate change


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Kuwadzana East Member of Parliament Nelson Chamisa on Wednesday said the incident where President Robert Mugabe was given a wrong speech for the official opening of Parliament must be thoroughly investigated because it was a monumental disaster that was likely to kill tourism and cause climate change.

“I am sure our colleagues in government have reasons why this has happened. We cannot come here and cast lots or play voodoo politics, we start surmising and guessing. We want reasons to be put forward so that we appreciate or we do not appreciate, but reasons have to be put on the table on why it has happened so,” Chamisa said.

“This is an international story. It is going to kill tourists and they will not come here. It is going to cause climate change and the political climate is going to be a problem.”

Chamisa was responding to a motion by Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is also leader of the House, to withdraw the wrong speech and replace it with the right one after Parliament was recalled to rectify the mistake.

“It is not as if we are trying to embarrass anybody. Heads are supposed to roll, and when heads roll we know that we are serious. If we do not punish these people, you can be assured that the President is going to be given a wrong script a the Heroes Acre, and he will end up reading a sermon that he is supposed to be giving to a congregation at a church.

“We want to know the motivation of these people, their inarticulate measure premise, what is motivating them because we do not want people who impose things that are not necessary,” he said.

President Mugabe read the wrong speech on Tuesday at the official opening of Parliament leading to calls from the opposition that he must resign because he is too old.

According to the debate in Parliament, this was apparently not the first time that Mugabe had read the wrong speech.

Non-constituency legislator Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga said at one time Mugabe was asked to give a speech in China but there was no speech.

“I remember at one time having travelled with the President to China and he was standing up to give a speech as a visiting President at this particular dinner and the speech was not there. For a long time, people were running around to find the speech. We were then asked to eat until the speech was found. I am just saying, it could mean a repetition and some kind of laissez faire that has come into the Administration of the Office of the President. I think as people that provide oversight on the Executive, these are issues that we should raise and these are issues that we raise with concern,” she said.

Mabvuku-Tafara MP James Maridadi said it was unforgivable for “the whole office giving the President the wrong speech to deliver”.

“This is one area in which even from across the political divide, we agree that a mistake was made and we want to know how that happened. The Executive must account to this House and that is the right thing to do. This is not the first time that this has happened. It happened a few years ago when the President was addressing the United Nations, he delivered a wrong speech for about five minutes and that speech was switched and that is on record,” he said.

 

Full contribution by Chamisa:

 

MR. CHAMISA: Thank you hon. Speaker Sir. I suppose that we have been given the right to debate on why leave has to be granted to Government to withdraw the speech by His Excellency, the President and seeking to then replace it or in its place, put another one. Hon. Speaker, this is a very serious issue. We are talking about a whole Parliament, Senators, Members of the National Assembly, Chiefs, Chief Justice and his entire bench and Dr Amai Grace Mugabe coming to this Parliament on a serious national event. We then have people within Government who choose to mislead our President; who choose to then come here with a wrong speech. What it does is that it positions our President in an invidious position. But not only is it about the President, it is about our country.

We cannot have a country where a wrong speech is read. We end up being pursued as wrong people and this is why we were supposed to go to the bottom of. What is it that caused it? What accounted for this mix up? Yes, mistakes are common but there are certain mistakes that are fatal to issues of national sovereignty and national security and we cannot tolerate this kind of mistake. This kind of mistake goes to the root hon. Speaker Sir…

MR. SPEAKER: Hon. member, can you please address the Chair consistently?

MR. CHAMISA: Thank you hon. Speaker Sir. I was making the point that this is a serious issue of national security and national sovereignty, national dignity and of our own intergrity as an independent sovereign State, when we have a situation whereby a wrong script is given to our President. As Members of Parliament who are coming from the people, we cannot come here and just sit on our laurels and accept it as ‘gospel correct’. We have to make sure that we go to the bottom of this matter. For us to then ask the Vice President who is supposed to be going out there to be talking about other progressive issues, to come back to Parliament to be debating issues that were supposed to be disposed of, is anathema, scandalous, criminal and it has to the dealt with. Those people who are responsible are supposed to account to this legislative House so that we are able to proceed to the next step.

It is not as if we are trying to embarrass anybody. Heads are supposed to roll, and when heads roll we know that we are serious –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]- If we do not punish these people, you can be assured that the President is going to be given a wrong script a the Heroes Acre, and he will end up reading a sermon that he is supposed to be giving to a congregation at a church. We want to know the motivation of these people, their inarticulate measure premise, what is motivating them because we do not want people who impose things that are not necessary. This is why hon. Speaker Sir, I would say as Members of Parliament – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

MR. SPEAKER: Order, you can continue Hon. Chamisa.

MR. CHAMISA: Thank you hon. Speaker Sir. This is so important because we want to know the source of the problem. You cannot cure a problem that you are not aware of. You cannot deal with symptoms and then hope that you have managed to address the mischief and problem that is besetting us. I am looking at our President – we also want to know why our President would be abused to that extent. It raises fundamental questions about, not just the processes in Parliament, but also even the processes in the State. These are issues we may want to be appraised of, to say Statecraft as it is, why is it that we end up with this situation? Hon. Speaker Sir, so that I do not take up time of our hon. members, this is what we would want to hear. I am sure our colleagues in Government have reasons why this has happened. We cannot come here and cast lots or play voodoo politics, we start surmising and guessing. We want reasons to be put forward so that we appreciate or we do not appreciate, but reasons have to be put on the table on why it has happened so. This is an international story. It is going to kill tourists and they will not come here. It is going to cause climate change and the political climate is going to be a problem.

Hon. Speaker Sir, we are talking about an ordinary person. We are talking about the Chairperson of the African Union and it is so important that we maintain the integrity of our President. This is why I think we need sufficient justification. Thank you very much hon. Speaker.

 

(767 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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