Norton MP, Temba Mliswa (Independent) is not happy over Parliament’s failure to take legislators on a tour of the new Parliament building in Mt Hampden before the presentation of SONA and the national budget.
Last week the Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda announced that the State of the Nation Address (SONA) and 2023 Budget, to be delivered by President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube, respectively, will take place from the Mount Hampden site.
However, Mliswa believes MPs should have been taken there first before they sit for SONA and the national budget presentation. Said Mliswa:
Unfortunately, the new Parliament building in Mt Hampden is set to start being used when the Fifth session of the Ninth Parliament begins without the MPs having visited it. It’s a very queer arrangement to me.
The President visited, some Ministers and so did the Speaker of Parliament also. However, we, the legislators who shall be utilising the facility were never taken there to see and proffer our thoughts. The level of disrespect for the office of the MP is gross.
Now we are like cattle being herded into the dip, ignorant and blind about its state. Chero imba yawavakirwa you don’t just start using it before assessing it.
I suspected that this would happen and even thought of raising a point of order about it.
We cannot even respect our own institutions and national offices. This country is strange at times.
The New Parliament Building was built by Shanghai Construction Group (SCG) and fully funded by the Chinese government as “a gift to the people of Zimbabwe”.
The US$140 million 650-seat structure comprises a six-storey office complex and a four-storey building housing the National Assembly and Senate.