VICE President Dr Joice Mujuru received a standing ovation from MDC-T legislators when they walked into Parliament for the official opening of the Second Session of the Eighth Parliament yesterday.
The VP, and leader of Government business in the House Emmerson Mnangagwa led a procession of Cabinet ministers into the house for the start of proceedings.
After all the MPs sat, Glen View MP Fani Munengami (MDC-T) said: “Ngatiisei maoko kuna VP”. It was then that all MDC-T MPs started clapping, ululating and whistling for VP Mujuru.
Before her arrival, MDC-T legislators were chanting “Gamatox” and “Zvipfukuto” in apparent reference to some Zanu-PF slogans that are defining the party along factional lines.
Since the First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe publicly rapped Dr Mujuru for alleged corruption, extortion, illicit diamond dealings, fanning factionalism in Zanu-PF and undermining the authority of President Mugabe; MDC-T factions temporarily forgot their differences to rally to her defence with the likes of Tendai Biti, Job Sikhala and NCA leader Professor Lovemore Madhuku threatening war in defence of VP Mujuru in whose house the opposition MDC and Mavambo Kusile Dawn are said to have been formed.
The official opening of Parliament by President Mugabe yesterday started with a procession of Constitutional and Supreme Court judges, led by Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, walking into the Chamber to take their seats.
Senior Government officials also took seats in the Speaker’s gallery so that they could follow proceedings.
The procession of judges was followed by that of presiding officers led by Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda, Clerk of Parliament Mr Austin Zvoma and senior staff of Parliament.
It was the entrance of backbenchers that signalled chaos in the Chamber as some members of the opposition MDC-T led by Kuwadzana East MP Mr Nelson Chamisa could be seen arguing with Cabinet Ministers over seats, as the opposition MPs accused Members of the Executive of sitting on the side reserved for leaders of the opposition party.
Mudenda subsequently called the House to order before directing Mr Zvoma to read President Mugabe’s Proclamation summoning Parliament.
Service Chiefs then walked in together with President Mugabe and Amai Mugabe.
After President Mugabe’s speech, Zanu-PF deputy chief whip Mandi Chimene moved a motion calling for the House to give a respectful address to the speech before the House adjourned to November 25.
As people were moving out, journalist-cum-activist Itai Dzamara was assaulted by youths who were angered by his attempt to stage a one-man demonstration. Dzamara was subsequently saved by anti-riot police that took him into their vehicle.
Zanu-PF Harare province youths were outraged by the low turnout of people as they accused its leadership of failure to mobilise resources of transport.
Harare Province Youth chairman Godwin Gomwe, blamed province chairman Amos Midzi for the failure.
He accused Midzi of hiring 10 omnibuses to ferry people to and from Dotito for Dr Mujuru graduation party.
“The provincial chairman, Midzi should understand that he is not a chairman of a faction but the Zanu-PF party. He should have mobilised resources like transport or provide fuel so that more people would have come here to support President Mugabe,” he said.
“I am surprised that he was able to mobilise funds for VP Mujuru’s graduation party
Midzi refuted the allegations arguing that Harare discussed the matter in the absence of Gomwe as he snubbed the meeting.
“Gomwe as the Youth chairman is also part of the province and should have played a part in the organisation of people,” he said.