The issue of the Speaker of Parliament is very clear. Speaker of Parliament is the Chairperson of the Presiding Officers and he is actually Chairperson of the Standing Rules and Orders Committee. It is the Speaker of Parliament who must officially open Parliament and when the President comes here to address Parliament, he must address Parliament through the Speaker. So, it must be Mr. Speaker Sir, and then Madam President because Madam President is only deputy to the Speaker of Parliament. I will rest it at that point Mr. Speaker.
The President talked about truant Ministers and he said, “Out of 206 pieces of legislation identified as requiring alignment to the Constitution, only 30 Acts remain outstanding”. The President said and I quote “the many pieces of legislation for tabling during the Session certainly mean hard work which demands absolute commitment and diligence from all Members of Parliament and that includes my Ministers as well. Much more is even expected from Cabinet Ministers who should lead by example and of course those who do not attend are guilty. They lack impeccable parliamentary conduct, don’t they”. That is the question that the President asked and I am going to respond to the President.
I will say to Mr. President when I respond to that; let me quote Mr. President in 1980 when he was Prime Minister of this country. He said “let us turn our guns and swords into hoes and ploughshares, let us embrace our former enemies for the greater good of all”. Very instructive, that is R. G. Mugabe, Prime Minister of Zimbabwe. I was a school boy and I remember that very vividly. Abraham Lincoln, the 16th US President says, “a house divided against itself cannot endure”. And then Winston Churchill says, “where there is no enemy within, then the enemy outside cannot fight you”. One T. H. White said, “the destiny of man is to unite, not to divide. If you keep on dividing you end up like a collection of monkeys throwing nuts at each other out of separate trees”.
Why should it take the Executive time that what we hear coming out of the Politburo and Cabinet – Cabinet the way I see it is chaired by His Excellency the President. They discuss matters and come up with Cabinet resolutions. When the Vice President, for want of a better example, Hon. E. D. Mnangagwa makes an announcement on a particular policy matter that has been adopted by Government, we expect every Minister to rally behind that. What we hear is a Minister calling for a separate press conference to say no, no, no, what the Vice President is saying is nonsensical. Mr. Speaker, a country cannot endure when the only 25 people that have been charged with running this country speak at cross purposes. Why is it interesting to us as Zimbabweans, how does it interest my mother in Mabvuku to know that Hon. Prof. J. Moyo is a spy because we heard that was presented in the Politburo. What they discuss in Politburo is actually public information. I was going to say the Politburo must not sit at ZANU PF Headquarters; they must sit at Africa Unity Square because what they discuss we get to know about it even before they finish the meeting. It is all there.
Common vision, we heard that Command Agriculture was a success but we have another Minister saying no, no, no, it is actually command “ugly-culture”. It was a failure. Then ZANU PF Politburo fighting publicly and somebody comes and says, Vice President is a successionist. In response somebody says no but Hon. Prof. J. Moyo is a spy. Why does it interest Mr. Speaker, your grandmother who is in Binga – who is a spy and who is a successionist? What they want is food on their table. They want a Cabinet which works together to put food on the table. That is what they want. We do not want to hear about their personal fights.
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