The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: MDC-T MPs' Behaviour Disgraceful

editorial

Harare — DISGRACEFUL is the word we can use to sum up the conduct of MDC-T MPs who made complete asses of themselves during the official opening of Parliament yesterday.

In their wisdom or lack of it, the MPs chose to heed President Mugabe's proclamation to open Parliament, only to come in and try to disrupt proceedings with childish catcalls, singing and heckling during the President's address.

While the behaviour that appeared meant to embarrass the President, it only served to reveal the gulf between him and the opposition, as his handling of the situation and call on the opposition to work with Government in nation-building amplified his stature as a statesman par excellence.

It is the instigators who were, instead, left with egg on their faces, and we are sure in their private moments they realise they only made fools of themselves.

We applaud President Mugabe for ignoring the hecklers and pressing on with his speech as if nothing was happening.

The MDC-T MPs came across as a group of people not yet ready for the demands and dignity of high office, heckling a man who not only tolerated their aggression but also continued extending a fatherly hand towards them even as they proved to be unworthy of such overtures. We hope the electorate was watching and judging.

The performance will earn MDC-T high marks from their Western masters as their charade yesterday conforms to how African "democratic" do-gooders are expected to behave.

We would like to remind the MDC-T legislators that Parliament is an assembly for the mature where only honourable conduct and disposition are acceptable, which is why there is the presumption of honour before every member's name.

Yes, Parliament is a melting pot, comprising of people from a variety of backgrounds; some were in student politics, others in pressure groups and some in various occupations where such conduct may have been permissible.

But when one becomes a representative of the people, one automatically assumes greater responsibilities demanding lofty decorum.

What is heartening about yesterday's events is that the MDC-T MPs came and endorsed the legitimacy of President Mugabe despite their infantile antics.

By responding to Cde Mugabe's convening of the Seventh Parliament and staying throughout his address in which he laid out the legislative agenda of this parliament, means the MDC-T MPs have now fully accepted that the presidency of Cde Mugabe is a fact of life.

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