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Mliswa raises concern over neglect of rituals at New Parliament Building

Norton legislator Temba Mliswa on Tuesday expressed concern that authorities did not do enough to consult local traditional leaders to do their rituals before the official opening of the New Parliament building in Mount Hampden.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday afternoon presided over the tour of the new Zimbabwe Parliament Building which is government-owned and built to replace the old Parliament House in Harare.

The building that is set to be Zimbabwe’s Parliament has six floors intended to house both the upper and lower houses.

Zimbabwe’s new China-funded hilltop parliament building is complete and ready to be handed over to the authorities three-and-a-half years after construction began.
Zimbabwe’s new China-funded hilltop parliament building is complete and ready to be handed over to the authorities three-and-a-half years after construction began.

Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday. Mliswa said the building had not been ordained by the local traditional leaders.

He asked: “On a point of order Mr. Speaker. It is difficult for me to keep secrets. Thank you for indulging me Mr. Speaker Sir. I really appreciate this. This country is really a spiritual country. As I was coming from the village in Shurugwi, there was something that was haunting me along the way.

“The question was – okay we are going to the New Parliament but were the traditional leaders of the area informed of the structure? Do you also know about it? Even those who are dead are respected, you see the grave before you bury the person. How come we never got the opportunity to even see the structure?

“One of the issues that came to me is, ko building ikangodonha musina kutevedza chivanhu chenyu muchaita sei? I am really strong at that – processes in terms of us being there, who are the chiefs? Isusu tirikuenda ikoko hatizive kune toilet, kungopinzwa semombe dziri kungotinhwa kudhibhi.

“To me, I thought it was the worst disregard for Members of Parliament to go to an institution, a new building – even your own new house, you see it before you get in.”

And inside, the national assembly, with seats for 350 MPs, is built in a circular style - a break from the current arrangement which copies the Westminster format where government and opposition sit on opposite benches.
And inside, the national assembly, with seats for 350 MPs, is built in a circular style – a break from the current arrangement which copies the Westminster format where government and opposition sit on opposite benches. (Pictures by the BBC)

He further asked “It really troubled me and knowing you that you follow the traditional aspect, the Christianity of this country, ko baba wedu sei wati tinopinda mumba tisingazive kuti takamira sei? Mumwe achaenda kutoilet osangana nevakadzi ikoko, vakadzi vosangana nevarume. Ini ndaona zvichindinetsa.”

But Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda responded saying that when the building will be officially handed over to the government, rituals will be considered as well.

“Hon. Mliswa, you came a bit late. We have discussed this issue already. We said it is a temporary arrangement. We could not get a place at the HICC and the building is not officially opened. I want to inform you that before the digging started, the local chief did what he was supposed to do in terms of chivanhu.

“When the building is officially handed over, I think we are also going to do chivanhu first to receive the building. In the announcement that I made, Members of Parliament will be taken on a tour of the whole building so that they are familiar with the building. That was announced before you came,” he said.

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