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By Nicole Hondo
Leading up to this year’s elections, there was a group of holier-than- thou individuals, who campaigned with Bibles in hand, promising to serve the electorate day-and-night and swearing that God was in it.
Four months down the line, these individuals, the whole 63 of them, have turned into aspiring Alick Machesos, for all they do is sing and dance, in the Parliament, no less.
Ladies and gentlemen, behold the current crop of MDC legislators!
Granted, the MDC has traditionally been known to be mostly sound and fury and less substance, but the current crop is enhanced with a streak of clownish tendencies and outright basic reasoning challenges.
In the short space of time they have assumed titles of “Honourable” the very same people who voted for them have watched in frustration as they outdid the likes of Kapfupi in theatrics which sadly, are not remotely related to their mandate as legislators.
On September 18, they walked out on the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) and spent the entire session singing and dancing outside.
The debate on President Mnangagwa’s speech was supposed to give the National Assembly and Senate an opportunity to put on record its views on the Government’s plans.
On Thursday, the legislators were forcibly removed from Parliament after refusing to recognise President Mnangagwa as the President of the country.
The occasion was the presentation of the all-important National Budget.
Needless to say their actions have not changed a single thing in the status quo; President Mnangagwa is still President.
The victims of the MDC legislators are the people who elected them.
That old lady in Epworth who elected an MDC official to go debate issues on her behalf and contribute to law-making in a manner that benefits her, has to contend with watching the same MP singing and dancing outside Parliament. After that, the increasingly physically ballooning MPs go to their hotel rooms and drink the night away, enjoying their sitting allowances.
Sadly for all, especially the country’s purse, after such meaningless antics, the citizens have to bear the cost of buying luxury vehicles for these same MPs.
What is obvious is that the MDC is pathetically attempting to copy the South African opposition, EFF’s political tactics, forgetting that they lack the human intellect to copy and implement it effectively.
For whereas the EFF also engages in boycotts and other gallery pleasing antics, that party’s legislators know when to draw the line and refrain from doing so when matters of national importance are being discussed.
In this way, they manage to deliver on the electorate’s expectations while also entertaining same.
Our not-so-bright local opposition is that infamous copycat who copies even the name and obliterates himself in the process.
For the MDC’s antics are neither well timed nor entertaining. The show they put on during the Budget presentation left even the most patient of neutrals frustrated and irritated, and many wished they could swat the MDC legislators away as one would do to a fly. At a time when those with the electorate’s interests at heart were eagerly awaiting to take notes for future debate on the country’s budget, the MDC (dis)Honourables were busy outdoing each other in silliness, first refusing to adhere to simple Parliamentary rules, then putting up street theatre shows outside Parliament when they were rightfully chucked out.
The MDC is doing a very good job of branding itself as a party of silly children who should not be considered when important matters are to be discussed.
This writer proposes that a law be enacted hastily stipulating that any Member of Parliament who gets ejected for bad behaviour should have his allowance for the day docked and banned from one or two subsequent sittings.
For indeed, it seems Zimbabwe is cursed with a new breed of MPs whose only goal is to acquire luxury vehicles and allowances and are not in the least concerned with representing those who elected them.
Tellingly, during a pre-budget seminar in Bulawayo, the MDC legislators sat in harmony with legislators led by a President they allege is illegitimate and carried out a civil discussion.
This reflects on their leadership, for a real leader would cultivate in his juniors a culture of putting the people you serve ahead of personal glory.
The beauty of this social media era is that come 2023, the electorate will remember them for their antics, for that is all they will have to show for their 5 years in Parliament. From 2009 to 2013 the MDC spent the major part engaged in gallery pleasing only to start crying about lack of reforms a month or two before elections, presenting a list of Bills that should have been passed by Parliament, the same Parliament they are now boycotting and disrupting.
It is inconceivable that the majority of MDC legislators will be voted back into Parliament unless Zimbabweans by then would have become suddenly afflicted with an addiction for time wasting clowns.
For zanu-pf legislators, some see a silver lining in all this madness, for the MDC legislators’ continued walkouts affords the former, who are in the majority, an opportunity to do the real meaningful work and pass Bills in peace.
At the end of the day, Zimbabweans want to move forward, Zimbabweans want laws reformed as of yesterday. Let those aspiring Jah Prayzahs sing and dance to their heart’s content, as long as they do it outside Parliament. Come 2023, history will judge them harshly.