Mugabe sets the agenda

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe will today officially open the first session of the Eighth Parliament of Zimbabwe, described by analysts as a dawn of a new era following the policy inconsistencies that dogged the inclusive government.

WONAI MASVINGISE
SENIOR REPORTER

MDC-T legislators plan to boycott today’s event in protest against the way the July 31 elections were conducted.

Ernest Mudzengi, a Harare-based political analyst, yesterday said the new Parliament would allow Zanu PF to test its policies with less opposition.

“Zanu PF now have a chance of coming up with new policies. Whether the economy will improve or not will depend on the policies that they are going to adopt,” he said.

Mugabe won the presidential election with 61% of the vote and his Zanu PF party managed to get 160 seats out of the 210 National Assembly constituencies.

This translated to more than two-thirds majority, as the party recovered from the 2008 set-back where it was reduced to an opposition in the House of Assembly.

University of Zimbabwe lecturer Charity Manyeruke said Zanu PF’s majority would make realignment of laws to the new Constitution easier because there would be consensus.

“I think it’s quite significant that tomorrow (today) Parliament will open with (Zanu PF enjoying) a two-thirds majority,” he said.
“Parliament will not have problems in synchronising the laws with the new Constitution.

“There are various Acts that have to go through Parliament, so it makes it easier to synchronise the laws because people will have the same mindset. However, this is not to say the opposition is not important. They should continuously contribute ideas in Parliament so that we have balance and vibrancy in terms of debate.”

There are dozens of Acts of Parliament that should be aligned with the new Constitution to avoid conflicting interpretations of the law.
However, MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora yesterday maintained that the party’s MPs would boycott the official opening because
they do not recognise Mugabe’s victory.

“We will not be attending because we don’t recognise Mugabe as having been legitimately elected,” he said.

“This Parliament was the product of a monumental fraud and we won’t bless the event by attending.”

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