HomeEditorial CommentMPs should lead by example

MPs should lead by example


THE chaos that rocked the House of Assembly on Wednesday after Zanu PF and MDC-T MPs exchanged harsh words over two motions from either side should have worried Zimbabweans who have high hopes the Eighth Parliament would be more productive after the wasted five years.

The previous Parliament was described as probably one of the worst in history because of the polarisation that made productive debate almost impossible.

For a second consecutive day, the MPs on Wednesday had a heated debate over the choice of words some of them use in debates and there was a near-exchange of blows.

The previous day, the MPs had quarrelled about who is responsible for the food shortages that have seen almost 2,2 million Zimbabweans facing starvation — between Zanu PF and MDC-T.

Zanu PF MPs blamed sanctions, which they said were invited by the rivals in the MDC-T, for the hunger.

On the other hand MDC-T legislators said Zanu PF should shoulder the blame for destroying agriculture and reducing Zimbabwe to a basket case.

The following day the MPs were haggling over two motions, one calling for an investigation into the conduct of the July 31 elections and another urging the lifting of sanctions imposed on the Zanu PF leadership and security commanders.

MPs from across the divide sang provocative songs mocking each other, turning the august House into a circus.

The debate became so heated that Buhera South MP Joseph Chinotimba (Zanu PF) threatened to harm MP Settlement Chikwinya (MDC-T) for alleging that he killed people in the run-up to the July 31 elections.

Such behaviour is not expected from MPs especially at a time when Zimbabwe is crying out for national healing and an end to polarisation that has retarded development in the country for far too long.

It is high time the major parties in the National Assembly put Zimbabwe first.

The use of inflammatory language does not enrich debate.

MPs should know that their behaviour inevitably mirrors society and what happened in the House this week is certainly not what Zimbabwe needs right now.

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