Mutambara to deliver maiden speech in Parliament

HARARE – Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara is expected to deliver his maiden speech to Parliament on, three weeks after he was sworn in as an MP.

A maiden speech is the first speech delivered by a newly elected or appointed member of a legislature or parliament. Mutambara, together with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, were sworn in on 3rd March as members of the House of Assembly. Maiden speeches are usually uncontroversial, often consisting of a general statement of the politician’s beliefs and background, rather than a partisan comment on a current topic.

But a source told us Mutambara might depart from that position and use his speech to call for urgent reforms to kick start the battered economy. Now that the inclusive government is in place, Mutambara might want to use his position to call for repressive laws to be repealed for the country to earn the much needed recognition from the international community.

In his maiden speech two weeks ago, the Prime Minister announced that government will soon start to process applications from media houses for registration and re-registration in terms of both the Broadcasting Services Act as well as the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

‘Those wishing to practice journalism must be able to do so without being prohibited by unnecessary restrictions or exorbitant fees. Once an open and free media environment has been achieved, there will be no need for Zimbabwean radio stations to be based abroad,’ he said. 

‘I would encourage those running and working for such radio stations to return home and help us build a truly free and open communication network. Such concepts of freedom are not foreign to our culture or our continent, nor are they imposed upon us by outsiders,’ Tsvangirai added. 

But analysts have cautioned that the Global Political Agreement will not work if there is no political will among the principals, especially Robert Mugabe, to roll back the disastrous authoritarian policies of the previous government. As things stand no journalist can return home, as nothing has changed.