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Make your point without insulting

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MEMBERS of Parliament, like all humans in different endeavours, can get over-exuberant, even to the point of rowdiness despite being in their self-titled august House.

NewsDay Editorial

Issues can get heated to the point of chaos and even exchanging blows as seen in chambers the world over.

That MPs sit according to the parties they represent and often facing each other exacerbates the aggressiveness towards each other.

But this letting-off of steam is necessary in order for issues to emerge as they are. Many a true thing slip out of the mouth through anger.

So, while venting anger, an MP could at the same time be spitting out the truth. This robustness is what makes Parliament in democratic societies.

Anyone who has watched the rapid-fire, spontaneous and incisive attacks and counter-attacks in the British Lower Parliament, the House of Commons, cannot, but be impressed.

The Speaker rarely interrupts the instantaneous flow of debate and those ministers meandering in answering questions will be exposed before all the world, and those asking silly, irrelevant, ignorant questions will similarly be humiliated. This is buttressed by the maturity of it all.

But when MPs overstep, stray from issues and indulge in gratuitous insults against each other, it is the rightful duty of the Speaker to point this out.

So did National Assembly Speaker Jacob Mudenda do on Tuesday without fear or favour in dealing with rowdiness coming from both ruling Zanu PF party
MPs and main opposition MDC-T MPs. He did not brook any sentimental or maudlin nonsense from either side.

MPs are supposed to be mature and intelligence and not carry their hearts on a sleeve as to rail and wail in Parliament like kindergarten kids, downing each other in a cacophony of unmelodious singing.

Said Mudenda: “ . . . I wish to say to say that while it is permissible to sing in the House, the singing should not degenerate into disorderly manner in the House and where there is likelihood of insulting songs, that is not permissible. And so in the future I shall not allow any songs in Parliament.”

Indeed, people can make their point without being insulting. This is what our MPs — especially those sitting on the benches of the ruling Zanu PF — ought to learn even this late.

Thank you, Mr Speaker Sir.

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