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Mugabe’s full speech at the official opening of the 8th Parliament today

 Madame President, Mr. Speaker Sir,

 The problem of trafficking in persons is now no longer an alien phenomenon.  As a country, we have indeed been horrified by the harrowing experiences of our citizens who fell victim to this heinous crime after having been lured to foreign lands by the promise of employment and better fortunes.  As part of efforts to address this challenge, the Smuggling of Migrants Protocol, which seeks to promote safe migration management within the country and to uphold the dignity of rights of migrants, will be brought before this Parliament for ratification.

Similarly, the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of, and Trafficking in Firearms, their Parts and Components and Ammunition, which will enhance cooperation with regional and international agencies in ensuring the safety of citizens, will be tabled before this august House.

 Madame President, Mr. Speaker Sir,

 Our society continues to be appalled by the rising incidence of rape.  I, therefore, call upon all families, churches, schools, politicians and the traditional leaderships to fight against this grossly decadent practice.  – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – On its part, Government will bring to this Parliament, the Mandatory Sentencing for Rape and Sexual Abuse Bill, which provides for more deterrent measures against the perpetrators of this revulsive crime, perhaps much more needs to be done.

 Let me take this opportunity to thank our Defence and Security Forces for remaining steadfast in safeguarding peace and tranquility in our nation.  To further strengthen the discharge of this role, the Defence Forces Act shall be amended to render it consistent with the Constitution.

 Ladies and Gentlemen,

The many pieces of legislation for tabling during this Session certainly mean hard work which demands absolute commitment and diligence from all Members of Parliament and that includes my Ministers as well.  We, therefore, expect robust and well-informed debate from all Members, who should always be present, punctual, disciplined, professional, and of impeccable Parliamentary conduct  – [HON. MEMBERS: Ma ministers haauye kuParliament!] – Of course those who do not attend are guilty.  They lack impeccable Parliamentary conduct, don’t they? – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –  Much more is even expected from Cabinet Ministers who should lead by example. – [HON. MEMBERS: Yes!] – 

 Madame President, Mr. Speaker Sir,

 May I conclude by declaring the Fifth Session of the Eighth Parliament of Zimbabwe duly open. I thank you.

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