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Chiwenga finally turns up in Parliament to cheers even by opposition MPs; ‘soja guru reFirst Republic’ – jokes Biti

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By Anna Chibamu


FOR a few hours on Tuesday, parliamentarians forgot their challenges in the national assembly after Vice President Constantino Chiwenga unexpectedly turned up after nearly four months.

The VP, who is also the Health minister suddenly, was the subject repeated complains about the absence of Cabinet members from parliamentary proceedings with ministerial statements requested on challenges in the health sector.

Last week, CCC MP Charlton Hwende again expressed concern over Chiwenga’s failure to attend Parliament.

Dressed in a celeste suit, VP Chiwenga sat quietly as he attentively listened to each and every one of the MPs’ contribution during Tuesday’s debate which touched on several issues.

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His appearance seemed to have cheered MPs with many commending Chiwenga for coming to Parliament, and pouring out their hearts out over unresolved grievances.

Norton member of parliament Temba Mliswa

First, it was independent Norton MP Temba Mliswa who reported Parliament management to the former army general on the welfare of MPs which has been topical in recent months.

“I am glad that the Hon. Vice President is here. Havasisina pekugara vana venyu ma Members of Parliament and it is becoming difficult for us to conduct our responsibilities, our mandate by standing here,” Mliswa said.

A few minutes, Mliswa left seat and went to sit next to the VP, starting a conversation which lasted for at least three minutes or so.

Harare North CCC legislator Rusty Markham said, “My final one, I am glad the Vice President is here, Four months ago, I …”

Markham had several issues and complained that nothing had been done to several requests which included non-payment to health ministry suppliers as the delay would have an effect on the upcoming 2023 budget.

CCC Harare East MP Tendai Biti, who appeared to have been satisfied by Chiwenga’s responses during debate on the Health Services Amendment Bill (H.B.8. 2021) added;

“During the liberation struggle, we used to call him Dominic Chinenge!”

Another opposition CCC member Fani Munengami shouted after Chiwenga spoke saying; “Dai maigara muchiuya tisina any problems kana dai izvezvi tiri mumahotels.

Jokes were cracked all the way and, when the VP spoke about being in the Second Republic, Biti reminded him that he was in the First Republic as well. The issue was on the employment of relatives (nepotism) at work stations and how the law could be amended to curb it.

Said Biti, “Ndimi manga muri mu First Republic. Ndimi manga muri soja guru reFirst Republic.”

The VP responded; “But you were a lawmaker. Isu tanga tisingaite mutemo, iwe ndiwe waiita mutemo handiti. ”

The whole session between the vice president and the MPs was full of laughter and even the Speaker commended Chiwenga’s presence.

“Hon. Vice President you see how your presence has mesmerized the Honourable Members of Parliament. Good to have you around,” Mudenda told the vice president.