Parly opening marks final leg of coalition

HARARE - The official opening of the Fifth Session of Seventh Parliament yesterday marked the final leg of Zimbabwe’s troubled coalition, with Zanu PF officials talking up the prospect of elections early next year.

After failing to vigorously push the legislative agenda during the last session, ever bickering MPs are likely to make the draft constitution a top priority.

The draft, still being negotiated, is now at a stage where it should be debated in Parliament, although President Robert Mugabe is insisting that coalition government Principals will have a glance first.

During the last session, only three Bills were passed into law while 31 motions were left outstanding.

The Electoral Amendment Bill and Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Bill and the Older Persons Bill were passed into law during the fourth session by legislators whose political backgrounds affected their parliamentary debates.

Opening the fifth session, Mugabe said against the various odds, Parliament exuded political maturity as time went by.

“I welcome you all to this Fifth Session of Seventh Parliament, which draws us closer to the end of the inclusive government. Thus the session is likely to be an abridged one. I must however, acknowledge that after faltering starts and stops there has been some growing mutual collaboration and commendable efforts at togetherness, which are values we should continue to build upon,” he said.

“It is time we believe in our capacity to confront our challenges, without the mischievous external hand that always comes to distort the magnitude and nature of our challenges,” said Mugabe. - Bridget Mananavire

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