Makokoba MP Tshinga Dube yesterday struggled to read his prepared maiden speech in Parliament and was forced to sit down after his extended time ran out.
BY VERENANDA LANGA
Dube spoke in a very low voice causing opposition MPs to lampoon him saying he was speaking to himself.
The MPs said the legislator should just hand over his speech to Hansard, a parliamentary publication that records proceedings verbatim, so that MPs will read it the following day.
Mabvuku/Tafara MP James Maridadi (MDC-T) even took a picture of Dube in jest.
Maridadi’s actions led Bindura South MP Remigious Matangira (Zanu PF) to suggest to the deputy Speaker Mabel Chinomona that the MDC-T MP should be thrown out of the House.
Chinomona ignored Matangira’s plea, but reminded Maridadi that he was not a journalist.
She said MPs were not allowed to take pictures of other legislators while they debated in the House.
Dube continued to read his speech inaudibly before other MPs offered him some bottled water assuming he was thirsty or choking.
After his 15 minutes lapsed, Zanu PF deputy chief whip Francis Mukwangwariwa moved that Dube’s time be extended.
Chinomona allowed it to be extended by a further five minutes as per parliamentary standing rules and orders.
However, Dube’s speech remained inaudible, causing Musikavanhu MP Prosper Mutseyami (MDC-T) to complain.
“Madam Speaker, can something be done to assist Dube to raise his voice, otherwise it would be better for him to just submit his speech to the Hansard,” he said.
Chinomona rejected the suggestion saying there was nothing that could be done to help the Zimbabwe Defence Industries boss.
“He just has a low voice and there is nothing that can be done,” she said.
“But at the same time the extended five minutes have again expired and the MP can just hand over his speech to Hansard.”
Some of the issues that were in Dube’s speech included that his constituency, which was thriving in its heydays now signified squalor due to economic difficulties.
“The constituency has a rich heritage with celebrities like politicians, entertainers and popular footballers like Madinda, Adam and Peter Ndlovu having come out of Makokoba,” he said.
“We also have popular landmarks like Stanley Square, Renkini Terminus, Mpilo Hospital and others.
“The majority of people in Makokoba live in poverty due to economic problems and closure of companies. Many people have become vagrants while still more have migrated to South Africa where they are often subjected to barbaric treatment. Sadly the younger generation has been driven towards drugs and many people struggle to send their children to school.”
In an unrelated matter, Sunningdale MP Gift Chimanikire (MDC-T) said the country was failing to attract investment because of human rights violations.
Chimanikire cited a Victoria Falls incident where President Robert Mugabe was making a speech to accept African Union chairmanship, while his body guards were busy beating up an old woman who had collected grass near the venue.
“Young Zimbabweans marching in the streets to protest about unemployment are brutally beaten by police — and how can investors come into the country?” Chimanikire asked.
He was debating a motion introduced last week by Hatfield MP Tapiwa Mashakada (MDC-T) on the deteriorating social and economic conditions in the country.