Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa looks on after delivering the State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Harare, Zimbabwe, December 20, 2017. © 2017 Reuters
Opposition parliamentarians caused a stir during the state of the nation address (SONA) after they all stormed out protesting against President Emmerson Mnangagwa's remarks that the July 30 polls were free and fair.
The MDC Alliance legislators walked out in protest over claims of a stolen election in favour of Mnangagwa after the Constitutional Court upheld his win in the July 30 election.
They chanted songs outside parliament building before making a return inside the National Assembly.
The opposition leader Nelson Chamisa quickly threw a jibe at the President with his spokesperson describing the SONA as uninspiring and irrelevant.
"MDC members of parliament have just defied the illegitimate President and @zanu_pf Leader E D Mnangagwa @edmnangagwa by walking out during his uninspiring reading of a speech instead of delivery of an irrelevant State of the Nation speech," Sibanda said.
The stance by the opposition law makers attracted a backlash from Mnangagwa loyalists among them Independent member of National Assembly for Norton constituency, Temba Mliswa who urged the opposition legislators to be patriotic while describing the move as unproductive.
"Opposition walking out of Parly is unsustainable & unproductive for the Nation. They however want the cars & all the benefits... .
"There is need for being patriotic by these opposition legislators," he said.
Last week, MDC MPs booed Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba and Chief Justice Luke Malaba in what appeared to be vengeful stance over the election outcomes.
Parliament later since apologized to Justice Malaba with Zanu PF calling for opposition legislators to behave as honorable members.