Zanu-PF Politburo member Advocate Jacob Mudenda was yesterday voted as the Speaker of the National Assembly to retain the post he held in the previous Parliament, after beating MDC Alliance’s Ms Paurina Mpariwa.
Adv Mudenda garnered 179 votes to Ms Mpariwa’s 79.
He will be deputised by Tsitsi Gezi, who beat MDC Alliance’s Mr Murisi Zwizwai with 174 votes to 79. The elections were conducted by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
The process in the National Assembly was, however, disrupted by the 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 songs denouncing Chief Justice Luke Malaba, who presided over the ceremony.
The ceremony was then conducted while the MDC Alliance representatives surrounded Adv Mudenda, drowning his voice in songs as he signed his oath.
In his address after the swearing in, Adv Mudenda congratulated the MPs who made it into the Ninth Parliament.
“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.”
Adv Mudenda and Gezi will be presented to President Mnangagwa at a function to be held at a date to be announced.
In the Senate, 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 Mike Nyambuya, who beat MDC Alliance’s Ms Lillian Timveous by 51 votes to 25.
In her acceptance speech, 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.
Chinomona thanked the senators for voting her into office.
“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.”
Chinomona urged the senators to make good use of the mandate bestowed upon them by the electorate and pledged to preside over proceedings in a fair manner.