Farirai Machivenyika Mr Speaker Sir
The July 30 harmonised elections are now water under the bridge and the swearing- in of the new Cabinet and parliamentarians means everyone’s focus should now be on service delivery.
It is regrettable, Mr Speaker Sir, that the leader of the MDC Alliance is failing to come to terms with the prevailing reality following his threats to hold a pseudo-swearing-in ceremony purportedly to confirm his victory in the elections.
The MDC Alliance lost the elections as confirmed by the country’s highest court, the Constitutional Court, after the opposition grouping failed to substantiate its rigging allegations.
Every right-thinking individual, more so those who claim to be democrats and lawyers, like the MDC Alliance leadership, should accept the court’s decision and move on.
The puzzling thing is that the opposition party only wants to accept court judgments that go in its favour only and is quick to accuse the judiciary of partiality if rulings do not go its way.
They can’t be allowed to have their cake and eat it.
The childish antics by Chamisa should therefore not be tolerated by anyone.
What is clear is that the MDC Alliance leader is trying to foment violence for his selfish interests and not for the good of the country.
The party instigated violence when results were being announced and this regrettably led to the deaths of six people and Mr Speaker Sir, this purported “inauguration” is another attempt to raise emotions that have the potential to spiral into violence.
It is our call therefore, Mr Speaker Sir, that Zimbabweans reject these attempts by the sore losers to create anarchy in the country.
President Mnangagwa has set out the goals of his administration in the next five years of improving the economy and people’s livelihoods and this is what any right-thinking Zimbabwean should be aiming for.
The attempts to keep the country in perpetual election mode are not helpful to anyone; Zimbabweans have had enough of that in the past 20 years.
The coming in of the new dispensation last November and the Second Republic following the elections that have been accepted worldwide offer the country an opportunity to exert its energies on improving its socio-economic environment.
It is clear, Mr Speaker Sir, that Mr Chamisa is taking notes from Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga’s antics of inaugurating himself as we saw in January.
He should, however, be reminded that that will not work in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabweans are mature enough not to be used in that way.
Mr Speaker Sir, we also hope the authorities will keep an eye on these developments to ensure that there are no disturbances that affect the peace that we are enjoying in the country.
From the previous threats of opposition elements it is clear that they would prefer that there be turmoil and disorder in the country to ensure that the sanctions that have been imposed on the country are maintained.
Turning to other issues, Mr Speaker Sir, Harare has been hit by a deadly cholera outbreak that has killed 21 people (at the time of writing) and affected over at least 3 000 people.
Mr Speaker Sir, this tragedy calls for greater introspection on what needs to be done to ensure that the outbreak of such diseases like typhoid and cholera doesn’t recur as they have been doing in the past 10 years or so.
It is not in dispute that the population of Harare has ballooned to more than what the infrastructure can cope with.
The solution therefore lies in improving such infrastructure as water and sewerage reticulation and refuse collection.
The worrying thing is that there seems to be a bias towards improving amenities or attending to problems such as blocked sewer pipes in the northern and affluent suburbs of the city than there is for the western and high–ensity suburbs.
Cases of council workers demanding bribes to attend to burst or blocked sewer pipes are common with some going for weeks on end without being attended to.
This therefore calls for an overhaul of how council responds to such calls given that the majority of the city’s population resides in those areas.
The other issue Mr Speaker Sir is to expedite the construction of the Kunzvi Dam as a long term solution to supply Harare and dormitory towns with clean water.
Areas such as Mabvuku, Tafara, Ruwa, and Chitungwiza hardly receive water and have to rely on wells and boreholes exposing them to these diarrheal diseases.
It is heartening to note that the project is one of the priorities that the Chinese have shown willingness to fund.
The other issue, Mr Speaker Sir, is to ensure that no new settlements are allowed to go up without the requisite infrastructure.
The sprouting of unplanned settlements in Harare and other major urban centres has increased the chances of outbreaks such as the one currently being experienced in the capital.
We hope the commission of inquiry set up by the President to investigate land barons that sold State land to desperate home seekers will complete its work soon and the culprits are brought to book.
It is unacceptable that we continue as a country to have outbreaks of diseases like cholera and one hopes this will be the last time that we have such.
Lastly, Mr Speaker Sir, let me congratulate the election of all the presiding officers, namely advocate Jacob Mudenda as Speaker and his deputy, Cde Tsitsi Gezi, and Senate President Mabel Chinomona and her deputy, Cde Mike Nyambuya.
I hope that they will be able to steer debate in the august House to support Government’s efforts to improve the livelihoods of the generality of Zimbabweans.
Zimbabweans have great expectations from the Ninth Parliament and the responsibility lies with parliamentarians and its leadership to ensure that these expectations are achieved for the good of the country.