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What Chimanikire said about Grace, Mugabe and his bodyguards

Full contribution

HON. CHIMANIKIRE: Thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me this opportunity to debate on the Presidential Speech. Before I go further, allow me Mr. Speaker to thank the previous speaker, Hon. Chinotimba for his views over the issue of corruption.  I would not differ but I am also going to discuss in my debate the issue of corruption and what I envisaged personally as a Member of Parliament as the issue of State capture.

Mr. Speaker, allow me also to thank His Excellency, the President, Cde. Robert Gabriel Mugabe for the speech that he delivered at the United Nations General Assembly.  As a citizen of this country, I am very much concerned at the carelessness that the bodyguards to the President displayed in front of international cameras when the President had actually to struggle to get to the podium – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – Let me finish.  I have observed Mr. Speaker that heads of other States are even wheeled on a wheelchair to the podium.  Why did our bodyguards allow the President to embarrass himself by moving towards the podium with so much effort when they should have been there to look after him?  As a citizen of this country, I have a right to complain on the behaviour of those who accompany the President to the United Nations.

Mr. Speaker, I do believe that when the President comes to Parliament, the input that he put before us is contributed by the various Ministries. As such, I observe that there were certain benchmarks that the President was supposed to set on the various topics but these were overlooked.  There is the issue of pension for example Mr. Speaker.  We are aware that in Zimbabwe, we have pensions that used to be paid by white bosses who have since left this country.  No piece of legislation has been proposed to address the issue of pensions.  As a result, we have destitute former workers who are not benefiting on issues of pension from any other source.  Therefore, we have destitute people who are elderly and are unable to look after themselves.  I thought that should have formed part of the agenda on the presentation of the President’s Speech.

The President, in his third paragraph, actually discussed the issue of handling of children that are in conflict with the law, the Child Justice Bill.  Mr. Speaker, we cannot talk about the Child Justice Bill without taking into consideration what occurred in South Africa, perpetrated by the First Lady.  That was abuse of children in South Africa. As such, we should take note of that and not overlook some of the short comings that we have within our own state in terms of attitudes towards the child justice both in Zimbabwe and South Africa.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Hon. Member, I am sure you are aware that this matter is before the courts and therefore it is sub-judice, it cannot be discussed.  So, if you could withdraw that element.

HON. CHIMANIKIRE:  Mr. Speaker, I withdraw that statement but my understanding was that diplomatic immunity had been availed to the …

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, the matter is before the courts.

HON. CHIMANIKIRE:  I withdraw that statement Mr. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you.  Carry on.

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