By Farirai Machivenyika
Zanu — PF Politburo member Advocate Jacob Mudenda was yesterday voted as Speaker of the National Assembly to retain the post after beating MDC-Alliance’s Ms Paurina Mpariwa.
Adv Mudenda garnered 179 votes to Ms Mpariwa’s 79. He will be deputised by Cde Tsitsi Gezi, who beat MDC-Alliance’s Mr Murisi Zwizwai with 174 votes to 79. The elections were conducted by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
The process was, however, disrupted by MDC-Alliance members who continuously broke into song.
The rowdy opposition party members caused delays in the swearing-in of Adv Mudenda and Cde Gezi after breaking into song denouncing Chief Justice Luke Malaba, who presided over the ceremony.
“I want to congratulate all of you for having been elected to this house as representatives of your constituencies and communities,” he said.
“It was your election that created this college that created myself and my deputy to the positions of Speaker and Deputy Speaker.”
Adv Mudenda called for unity in the House.
“I want to commend you and say as we enter the Ninth Parliament that we shall be united in playing our three roles that is oversight, representative and the legislative agenda,” he said.
“We shall be united in serving the people of Zimbabwe, particularly the electorate.
“Through our committee system we should be able to create national consensus and build a better Zimbabwe together. I look forward to working tirelessly together for the good of the people of Zimbabwe.”
In the Senate, Cde Mable Chinomona, who was Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly in the Eighth Parliament, got 52 votes, beating MDC-Alliance’s Morgan Komichi who received 22 votes.
She would be deputised by Cde Mike Nyambuya, who beat MDC-Alliance’s Ms Lillian Timveous by 51 votes to 25.
In her acceptance speech, Cde Chinomona said her election as Senate President was testimony of the country’s budding democracy.
“This election confirms the emergence of our budding democracy in the new dispensation and our commitment to defend our fundamental rights as provided by the Constitution,” she said.
“I want to thank you for voting a woman to be the Senate’s President,” she said.
“One of the pillars of our Constitution is gender equality and we must be exemplary in protecting the Constitution. In elevating women we have ably demonstrated to the promotion of a section of society that has been victim to tradition and patriarchy.”