Mugabe refuses to ditch Parly colonial bling

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF is refusing to ditch full scale British pageantry when Parliament opens on Tuesday, even though the new Constitution outlaws such pomp and pageantry.

Austin Zvoma, clerk of Parliament told the Daily News yesterday that traditional rituals will be followed when the eighth parliament resumes for its second session on Tuesday, even though the new Constitution outlaws this pageantry.

Mugabe is expected to arrive at Parliament in his gleaming Rolls Royce once used by Lord Soames, the last governor of Rhodesia prior to the country’s independence in 1980.

Accompanied by 200 soldiers and escorted by 32 mounted policemen dressed in the 1890-style uniform of the British South Africa Police, complete with with helmets, Mugabe will make his way to Parliament escorted by horse and carriage and his wife, Grace.

COLONIAL TRADITION: Mugabe will travel in his Rolls Royce used by Lord Soames to the eighth Parliament.

The 90-year-old will travel from State House to the Parliament building in a royal procession to perform the official opening starting at 12 noon in the House of Assembly.

At its heart, the official opening of Parly is a symbolic reminder of the historical relationship between the British colonial masters and the Zimbabwe government, and includes a military parade accompanied by unprecedented British splendour synonymous with a royal celebration.

The opposition is outraged, and all questioning whether the ruling party is attempting to amend the new Constitution.

Emmerson Mnangagwa, the Justice and Legal Affairs minister and leader of government business in the House, said Mugabe should be allowed to continue  presiding over the lavish ceremonies when he uses centuries-old British pageantry to open Zimbabwe’s Parliament.

He told legislators at the close of the first session of the eighth Parliament recently that it was important to keep the tradition as it afforded legislators an opportunity  to be briefed on the legislative programme of government in the ensuing year by Mugabe.

“We all recall that under the previous Constitution, there was provision for His Excellency, the President, to officially open sessions of Parliament,” Mnangagwa said.

“This provision does not exist under the current Constitution, but we recognise the opening of Parliament by the president as a very important convention that is desirable to continue under our democracy.

“We would like the convention to be maintained to have His Excellency, the President to grace this House and open it every year.

“We seek, therefore, that the president of the Senate Edna Madzongwe and the Speaker of the National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda invite His Excellency, the President to open Parliament on a day that is convenient to this House.”

Mnangagwa, the Chirumanzi Zibagwe legislator, acknowledged that it was no longer a constitutional requirement for Mugabe to open the august House but insisted that Zanu PF was keen to maintain the traditional convention.

His deputy Fortune Chasi also moved the same motion in the Senate seeking indulgence from the Senators.

Chasi said the practice enabled Parliament to effectively plan for its legislative and oversight role.

However, opposition MDC MP for Southerton Gift Chimanikire objected to the request, arguing that the current Constitution does not provide for the President to officially open Parliament.

“I am confused, whether the minister is proposing an amendment to the current Constitution, or he is short circuiting the procedures of Parliament,” Chimanikire asked.

“I just wondered whether he is proposing an amendment to the Constitution and whether the Speaker of the National Assembly and the president of the Senate can amend the Constitution unilaterally.”

Mnangagwa denied that he wanted to unilaterally amend the Constitution.

“We are not seeking an amendment to the Constitution,” he said. “We do not believe that it is either necessary or desirable. We are simply saying that the Speaker and the president of the Senate could maintain the convention that we have had for a very long time.

“We have known that this practice has now become a convention in this Parliament and does give an opportunity to the honourable members and to the president to communicate and plan on the legislative agenda of this House. So, we are not seeking an amendment, neither is it a breach of the Constitution.”

Zanu PF, which has a nearly two-thirds majority, eventually had its way, and Mugabe will officially open the second session on October 27 amid pomp and ceremony.

Comments (15)

zvakanaka zvinodiwa nesu tose.....why british? why not chinese or some russian style wakatibatsira to secure and get independence?

Mungoodne - 24 October 2014

zvinotipa sadza here izvozvo??

selele - 24 October 2014

hezvoka musona 'British pageantry' iyo yakasiiwa na smith. zvekupemberera zvinoitwa everywhere first, second, third of fourth world. kwese vanhu vanomukirira kumigwagwa, airport or dzinhandare dzenhabvu. rolls royce iyo.

taurai - 24 October 2014

The only thing that Mugabe hates/dislikes about the British is the fact that they do not revere him like they used to in the past when he was still a respected Statesman. Apart from that, he loves the way they dress (suits), their language, their automobiles, their food, their lifestyle. He just adores them and so why would he choose to abandon the bling that associates him with them, it's only in his speeches that we get to hear otherwise. Such hypocrisy!

Dr Know - 24 October 2014

Hanzi maBritish are enemies saka ichi ndicho chii ichi. Stupid Bod and bitch Grace. Hypocrites and the whole lot who give him the company. What a shame...34 years later you still emulate colonial style procedures. Endai makapfeka nhembe kuParly nemadhongi pamberi Mugabe ari muchikochikari KKKKKKKKK

garikayi - 24 October 2014

There in lies the problem. Politics of hunger and envy never amount to much. Mugabe is an unrepentant anglophile, he boasts that he is british. He wanted to be president so that he can be like the British colonial masters instead of improving the lot of his people. There is no vision, no pride, no creativity...nothing! That is why they move from farm to farm during harvest time and why they take over companies and get them liquidated and buy new top of the range German cars. No sense of identity whatsoever, the british came up with that format of "pomp and pageantry" because it means something to them, their culture and history. the Goblin just takes it in because it makes him closer to what he wishes to be.

Galore 123 - 24 October 2014

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Flixcom Solutions - 24 October 2014

zimbabwe is still colonised, the president is more British than the british themselves.

samukelisiwe ncube - 24 October 2014

“British pageantry” - what a load of garbage. Daily News parliamentary Editor is being mischievous. Which is Zimbabwean pageantry? Let me remind this Editor that 99.9% of ceremonies performed in Zimbabwe and all other facets of life right now are British in origin from the British borders right up to underwear and lavatories. Parliament itself is of British origin. The language used is English. If Zimbabwe is going to do away with all things British then we will remain with NHEMBE only. Cars are Western/British, clothes, shoes, towns, underwear, lavatories, writing, reading, wedding ceremonies, funeral ceremonies (before colonialism there were no coffins), brushing teeth, farming, irrigation, bathing everyday, bathing indoors, trains, planes, ox-drawn ploughs, tractors, hospitals, dates, time, seasons, fertiliser, paper, handkerchiefs, electricity, piped water, going to school, GRADUATION ceremonies, going to church, fishing, FOOTBALL, surnames, people's names like Robert, Stephen, John, razor combs, spectacles, radio, TVetc etc - I can go one forever. Does this Editor know that the Internet originated in Britain? Let me put it another way. Can this Editor list down all things British we should do away with and let us know what we will remain with. Don't use English to list down these things and don't use a whiteman's computer or pen or whiteman's language. First of all put on NHEMBE and do everything from a round mud hut, barefooted then you will appreciate what the British did was priceless. No cellphone, its British. You don't know what you are talking about. Taking things for granted. It's called cognitive dissonance. I am giving you the therapy.

Musona - 24 October 2014

So that people know..... that young legislator called Justice Mayor Wadyajena is Mnangagwa`s secret key. I used to see Mnangagwa visit lot at Wadyajena`s office at Fidelity Life Tower along Raleigh road. Mayor Wadyajena is the one who handles all of Mnangagwa`s corrupt dealings. We all know that all his monies actually belong to Mnangagwa. Please Zanu pf investigate this. That is why this Mayor wadyajena is so arrogant.

kwazvo - 25 October 2014

MUSONA'S POST: Your posting beats MOSES'S "10 commandments ". Observations beat commandments!

Freedom Nkomo - 25 October 2014

Robert Gabriel Mugabe, I bet if he was asked to ditch one of his three names, it would be the Mugabe one. That's how British the man is.

ronaldos - 26 October 2014

"it was important to keep the tradition as it afforded legislators an opportunity to be briefed on the legislative programme of government in the ensuing year by Mugabe." What in heaven'sname is this supposed to mean, Cde Emmerson? Trying to defend the indefensible? Try Jonathan Moyo!

Johno - 27 October 2014

Apoint of correction Musona'S contribution: The internet did not originate in Britain. It originated as a project of the Department of Defence (DoD) of the US government and Berkeley University in Carlifonia. This was during the USA-USSR Cold War era when the US DoD embarked on a project to construct a data network that would continue operate despite bombings by the Russians. This is the network that evolved to become the present-day internet. Go verify this on the internet!

Johno - 27 October 2014

classic case of animal farm

dubudu - 28 October 2014

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