MP queries Mugabe failure to address state of the nation


FAILURE by President Robert Mugabe to appear before Parliament to give a state of the nation address for several years now was yesterday questioned by Harare West MP Jessie Majome (MDC-T) in the National Assembly.


Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa was asked to explain to the House reasons why Mugabe had not for several years adhered to the constitutional provision (Section 140) which stipulated that the president must address a joint sitting of the Houses to give a state of the nation address.

“We have not had such processes for several years now,” Majome said.

Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda quickly interjected in Mugabe’s defence, saying the Constitution did not say the president “must”, but said “may” attend.

Mnangagwa said he was already in discussions with Mugabe over the issue.

“In actual fact, as Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs responsible for Parliament, I am in discussion with His Excellency to find a particular time when he would come to Parliament to make an address,” he said.

Mnangagwa added: “Section 140 reads the President may at any time address either Houses of Parliament or joint sittings of both Houses at least once a year. The president must address Parliament at the state of the nation, and the Speaker or president of the Senate must make necessary arrangements.”

The VP said he had already taken measures to look for a suitable date which both Mudenda and Senate president Edna Madzongwe would concur to.

During yesterday’s question-and-answer session, MPs who have little competence in the English language sent the House in stitches as they were forced to ask their questions in the Queen’s language (broken English) due to breakdown of translation equipment.

MPs like Kwekwe Central MP Masango Matambanadzo and Buhera South MP Joseph Chinotimba, who despite being subject of a butt of jokes because of their perceived poor English, went on to ask their questions confidently.

MDC-T legislators Nelson Chamisa and Glen View North MP Fani Munengami both raised points of order with Mudenda over the broken down equipment
They said it was unfair that the equipment had not been repaired for long, forcing some MPs to remain mum during debates.

Mudenda said spare parts for the machines were not available in the country.


  1. Hapana chinomboshamisa kutadza kutaura English. This is a foreign language. Vanoseka zvinotaridza kuti havana kukwana vanotoda kevhenekwa mumisoro yavo. Ini ndikaedza kutaura isiNdebele ndikatadza hapana anoseka chero anotaura isiNdebele akatadza kutaura chiShona hapana anoseka asi ingotadza Chirungu chete inoitwa chiseko chaicho. This is because most of us are still colonised by the British. Let us remove this mentality maZimbabwe. The Speaker was supposed to allowed those asking questions in our indigenous languages to ask the questions and not forcing them to speak English.

  2. What can RGM really say about the state of the nation? Which nation? Leave the old man alone please to enjoy himself. He arrived where he had planned to be and that does not include the welfare of anyone outside his family?

  3. Failing to speak english is a reflection of poor education period. We have a literacy rate of 98%, so those MPs have no excuse. We are not english but the base of ZImbabwean education is english. So if you dont speak or understand, you are simply uneducated period. And what are you doing in Parliament if you are uneducated. Parliament is the highest law making institution in the land. Its not for the un-educated. If you want to complain about poor roads, go & see your educated MP who ll help you, not for your to go & make yourself a fool by empty noises

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