New MPs in baptism of fire

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Jacob Mudenda

BY HARRIET CHIKANDIWA
Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) MPs-elect received a baptism of fire on their first day in Parliament yesterday after they turned up in yellow attire for the swearing-in ceremony.

Zanu PF MPs protested, accusing the opposition of coming to the august House dressed in party regalia. Yellow is the CCC party’s official colour.

But Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda quashed the objections, saying there was nothing amiss since the CCC members’ attire had no party symbol.

“If there is no visible party symbol, it can be allowed in the House,” Mudenda ruled, before Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda proceeded to swear-in the 28 legislators who were elected in the March 26 by-elections.

The CCC MPs who were sworn-in included Tendai Biti (Harare East), Settlement Chikwinya (Mbizo), Prince Dubeko Sibanda (Binga North), Amos Chibaya (Mkoba), Willias Madzimure (Kambuzuma), Chalton Hwende (Kuwadzana East), among others.

Newly-elected Citizens Coalition for Change legislators take oath of office in the National Assembly in Harare yesterday

Zanu PF also had nine MPs sworn-in, who included Zalerah Makari (Epworth), Misheck Mugadza (Mutasa South),  Jeremiah Chiwetu (Marondera East), Nyasha Masoka (Murewa South), Munyaradzi Zizhou (Chivi South), Master Makope (Mwenezi East), Ncube Musa (Tsholotsho South), Davison Masvisvi (Gokwe Central) and Tasara Hungwe (Mberengwa South).

Some of the seats became vacant following recalls initiated by MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora, while others were a result of deaths and posting of MPs as ambassadors. The newly formed CCC party bagged 19 seats while Zanu PF got nine.

Mberengwa South legislator Tasara Hungwe (Zanu PF) said: “I promise to go back to my constituency and ensure there is communication with regards to things happening in Parliament.”

Kwekwe Central MP Judith Tobaiwa (CCC) said she would fight to end machete violence in the Midlands city.

Her constituency is where CCC supporter Mbongeni Ncube was killed at a campaign rally in February.

“We are also going to address issues of child abuse and child marriages.  Young girls are being married off due to poverty and we need to end that,” Tobaiwa said.

Mugadza (Zanu PF) said:  “People will not regret their choice.  I will take the constituency to another level in terms of development.”

Nkulumane MP Kucaca Phulu (CCC) said people from his constituency would benefit from his representative role as an MP, by getting feedback on what is happening in Parliament.

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