UMGUZA MP and outgoing Mines minister Obert Mpofu on Tuesday broke down in parliament while giving an emotional congratulatory message in his native Ndebele language to his friend Jacob Mudenda, who was elected speaker of the eighth parliament.
REPORT BY PAIDAMOYO MUZULU
Mudenda, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) chairman, was elected unopposed by newly sworn in Zanu PF MPs after MDC MPS walked out before the nomination process.
Mpofu choked on his words and tears streamed down his cheeks when he reminded Mudenda not to forget the backwardness of Hwange and Binga now that he was now in high office.
“Let us not forget the backwardness of our home areas, Hwange and Binga now that we are in high offices. Think of chiefs in Hwange and Binga as you settle in this new office,” Mpofu said.
“Let’s us not forget where we came from in those years when we used to eat ‘amasonja’ (an edible worm) when we were young,” Mpofu said before his emotional breakdown.
Matabeleland North is one of the most underdeveloped communities in Zimbabwe despite being home to the Hwange National Park, Zambezi National Park and the majestic Victoria Falls which rake in millions in tourism annually.
Mpofu earlier had spoken eloquently about Mudenda’s history and achievements in both the public and private life, particularly in the early years of independence in Matabeleland province.
Mudenda, a lawyer by profession, is a former teacher, district administrator, provincial administrator, governor and senator.
“Mudenda is a man of firsts. He has been the first in many things in the past, particularly in our rural homes of Hwange and Binga. I am glad that the speaker’s chair has come back to its rightful owner,” Mpofu said.
Vice President Joice Mujuru also spoke strongly against MPs who forget about championing development, especially in rural areas from where Zanu PF has the majority of its support.
“While we debate about roads and railway line connecting Harare and Chitungwiza, we should not forget to talk of areas like Kanyemba and Binga that are in the back of the beyond. We should also put roads that connect them to other areas,” Mujuru said.
“For the next five years we should constantly ask ourselves in everything we do whether we are doing these things for ourselves or the country?” Mujuru said.