‘Out-of-touch’ Mugabe opens Parliament

‘Out-of-touch’ Mugabe opens Parliament

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ZIMBABWE – President Robert Mugabe will today officially open the second session of the 8th Parliament of Zimbabwe, with opposition parties saying they expected “nothing from a clueless man”.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

MDC-T chief whip Innocent Gonese told NewsDay yesterday that Mugabe’s appointment of an additional 14 Cabinet ministers indicated a “man detached from reality”.

“We do not have high hopes for this session because our experience has shown that the President is out of touch with reality. We are likely to be saddled with the ZimAsset (Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation) hogwash that has openly failed to change the fortunes of the people,” Gonese said.

“You can also read from Mugabe’s appointment of 14 more ministers at a time he is aware of the predicament the people find themselves in. It tells you of a government that has lost all love for the people and their suffering.”

The ruling party, according to sources, is set to meet to choose new leaders in the National Assembly following the elevation of Jorum Gumbo from chief whip to Transport minister, while his former deputy Berita Chikwama was also appointed Lands deputy minister.

Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda told NewsDay that Mugabe would set the legislative agenda for the current term likely to be dominated by the crafting of economic laws to operationalise his 10-Point Plan, delivered during his recent State of the Nation Address.

“It is difficult for me to tell his thrust, but the President is likely to concentrate on economic issues to make sure that ZimAsset and in particular the 10-Point Plan unveiled during the State of the Nation Address are implemented,” Chokuda said.

“The issue of the country’s investment climate could also be very important given the President’s indication of efforts to turn around the economy.”

Chokuda said the legislature was also likely to be saddled with the emotive issue of aligning the country’s laws to the national Constitution adopted at a referendum two years ago.

“We have Bills that are already before Parliament like the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, the Manicaland State University Bill and the General Laws Amendment Bill. These might be prioritised in the coming session,” he said.

Mugabe’s 10-Point Plan unveiled last month is anchored on his party’s ZimAsset economic policy document.

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