By Anna Chibamu
OUT-GOING European Union (EU) ambassador to Zimbabwe, Timo Olkkonen, on Thursday commended Parliament Speaker, Jacob Mudenda, on the role he has played as the leader of the national assembly.
During a farewell call on the Speaker, Olkkonen told journalists that Mudenda had done so well in the delivery of his duties and leading Parliament.
“It was a very important occasion for me to be here to bid this farewell because we have had excellent cooperation with the Parliament and the Hon. Speaker himself, particularly in our parliamentary support programme, where we have supported the capacities of the Parliament and its portfolio committees to perform their duties as a cornerstone of democracy,” he said.
“We have had that cooperation, which has brought us closer together. Parliament is important in its own right and so this was indeed a valuable occasion for me.
“I would like to convey my thanks for the good cooperation over the years and also give our appreciation for the role he himself (Mudenda) has had personally in leading Parliament proceedings as well as in his capacity for standing up for gender equality and women’s rights.
“The Speaker has been very instrumental in one of the prominent personalities in Zimbabwean society to speak out on these issues.”
Olkkonen also gave credit to the Zimbabwean tourism sector, telling the media that the country had vast opportunities and diversity.
“My family and myself had fallen in love with Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has tremendous opportunities and diversity. The people are very friendly and forthcoming.
“I wanted more time to get to all corners of the country, but Covid-19 did not allow us that opportunity. I will be back and certainly be an advocate for tourism in Zimbabwe because it has hidden germs.”