Mugabe to open Parly tomorrow

parliament_zimbabweHARARE President Robert Mugabe (pictured inspecting a guard of honour) will on Tuesday officially open the second session of the 7th Parliament of Zimbabwe, where he is expected to highlight the performance of the inclusive government.

The official opening of the House of Assembly comes a week later than initially scheduled because Mugabe was not in the country last week, as he was attending a summit of African and South American heads of state in Venezuela. Last years opening was marred by unprecedented jeering and heckling of Mugabe by Movement for Democratic Change legislators while he was reading his speech.

Critics said the heckling by the MDC parliamentarians, drowning large parts of Mugabes speech to the new Parliament showed the extent of loathing between Zimbabwes two biggest political parties following controversial elections last year. Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai formed a power-sharing government in February and pledged to work together to revive the economy that had been in decline for the past decade. Tsvangirai is expected to attend the opening of Parliament, according to his spokesman James Maridadi.

During tomorrow’s speech, Mugabe is expected to address the issue of the performance of the inclusive government and also highlight its challenges. He is also expected to dwell on the issue of the state of preparedness for the forthcoming agricultural season. Parliament has 210 members of which Mugabe’s ZANU PF party has 99, Tsvangirais MDC faction has 100, a smaller faction of the MDC led by Arthur Mutambara has 10, while there is one independent candidate.

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