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First session of 9th Parliament now open

Opposition MDC Alliance MPs sing in protest outside Parliament building after staging a walkout on President Mnangagwa. Pic by Shingirai Vambe
Shingirai Vambe

HARARE – President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday officially opened the first session of the ninth Parliament of Zimbabwe amid pomp and fanfare in Harare.
The event was, however, dented by opposition MDC Alliance MPs who heckled Mnangagwa and walked out on him as he began to read his speech in the parliament building.
The event started with a long, winding procession of sleek cars and outriders from State House to parliament building, with Mnagangwa later inspecting a guard of honour mounted by soldiers from Presidential Guard 1 Battalion.
In his State of the Nation (Sona) speech, Mnangagwa touched on many areas affecting the country and urged MPs to fully participate in efforts to revive the economy.
“We carry our people’s hopes, dreams and aspirations and trust has been placed on each and every one of us. It is therefore encouraged of us to work tirelessly as servant leaders in love unity and harmony,” Mnangagwa said.
He said his administration was committed to depart from the past by prioritising the economy over political posturing.
The opposition MPs who booed and walked out on Mnangagwa, however, said they did not recognise him as the legitimate President as he ‘stole’ their leader Nelson Chamisa’s victory.
“Vhoti yangu vhoti yangu, ndikafunga vhoti yangu, ndinorara ndigere (My vote my vote, it’s painful when I think of my stolen vote,” they sang in unison.
Opposition leader in the house, Thabitha Khumalo later told iTell News that they were making a statement against Mnangagwa’s ‘illegitimate’ leadership.
“We are sending a message to Mnangagwa that he should respect the will of the people not to decorate this country with soldiers and horses for the 9th session when people are dying of cholera,” she said.
Newly-appointed MDC Alliance vice president and senator, Morgen Komichi indicated the opposition coalition will make similar protests in the future.politics

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