Zimbabwe parliament to dump British traditions – Speaker

Zimbabwe Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda presides over a parliament session where a motion is moved to impeach President Robert Mugabe on November 21, 2017 at the Zimbabwean Parliament in Harare, Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe's parliament prepared to start impeachment proceedings against President Robert Mugabe Tuesday, as ousted vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, who could be the country's next leader, told him to step down. Further street protests have been called in Harare, raising fears that the political turmoil could spill into violence. / AFP PHOTO / Jekesai NJIKIZANA (Photo credit should read JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images)

AS Zimbabwe builds a new parliament set for opening next March, Speaker Jacob Mudenda says the national assembly will finally break from British parliamentary traditions for homegrown cultural norms and values.

Mudenda said this after Zanu PF Musikavanhu MP, Joshua Murire queried why the country had continued to follow British traditions (Mercers) in the house, 40 years after independence.

Mureri urged Mudenda under the Standing Rules and Orders regulations to reconsider removing the Mercers in the Chamber which according to the legislator “still resembled the colonial period”.

The Speaker welcomed the “good observation” by the MP saying this was work in progress.

“The observation by the member is pertinent,” Mudenda said.

“The Committee on Standing Rules and Orders has assigned Committee on Cultural Affairs chaired by Zanu PF chief whip Pupurai Togarepi.

“The team is working on the new design and other actors that need to decorate our parliament and therefore cut the umbilical code with the colonial era.”

He revealed the committee has gone further to design a new dress code of the presiding parliamentary officers and their assistants “in order to reflect our national identity”.

“Work is in progress and should be attained before year end and before we move to the new parliament in March next year,” said the Speaker.

Zimbabwe attained independence from Britain in April 1980, following nearly a century of white rule.

However, the British systems still remain firmly entrenched in its traditions with the country still reluctant to abandon them.