There was commotion in the National Assembly on Tuesday as Members of Parliament jostled to congratulate Vice President General Constantino Chiwenga (Retired) for his role in the restoration of peace and order in the country.
VP Chiwenga and Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Lieutenant-General Sibusiso Moyo (Retired) made their maiden appearance in the August House on Tuesday.
They both played a pivotal role in the realisation of the new era that ended a potentially disastrous end for the country under fomer President Robert Mugabe.
According to State media Speaker of the National Assembly, Advocate Jacob Mudenda, formally welcomed the two to the August House.
“I would like to welcome the Honourable Vice President Retired General Dr Chiwenga,” he said. “I would want the Acting Clerk of Parliament to favour the Vice President, and I believe our new Minister of Foreign Affairs as well, with our Standing Rules and Orders so that they acclimatise themselves with the rules and orders of our Parliamentary proceedings.”
Zvishavane Ngezi legislator John Holder (Zanu-PF) and Mutasa South MP Irene Zindi pre-faced their contribution to the debate on the motion to re-appoint Mrs Mildred Chiri as the country’s Auditor General by commending VP Chiwenga for orchestrating Operation Restore Legacy.
The operation was largely credited with pacifying a deteriorating political, economic and social situation after it led to the resignation of former President Mugabe and the sacking of the G40 cabal that was influencing divisive policies.
Legislators jokingly asked Mazowe South legislator Fortune Chasi – before he could contribute to the debate – to thank VP Chiwenga for helping save his political career that was in jeopardy in the old political dispensation.
And Chasi obliged: “I also want to thank the General for the leadership that he provided during the operation.”
Legislators continued to stampede to shake hands with the new VP, which irked Mabvuku-Tafara MP James Maridadi (MDC-T) who had to raise a point of order, saying the members were disturbing VP Chiwenga and Minister Moyo.
Mr Maridadi said the MPs, who were making a scrum to greet the new VP, were criminals who were removed by Operation Restore Legacy.
“I urge Members of Parliament on your right that if they want to congratulate them, and there is nothing wrong with that, I think they can do it elsewhere because the honourable Vice President will benefit from these debates,” he said.
“He is in charge of the Executive and he would want to respond. I do not see the excitement of wanting to congratulate him now, yet these were some of the criminals that were around the former President. I thank you.”
Adv Mudenda made him to withdraw his words as they were ruled unparliamentary.