via Chinotimba steals show in Parliament NewZimbabwe by Staff Reporter 25/09/2013
BUHERA South MP Joseph Chinotimba injected much-needed vitality to the dour proceedings in Parliament on Tuesday, in the process surprising many with the lucidity of his debate contribution.
The colourful former leader of the war veterans’ association – whose picture showing him smiling through gapped front teeth while donning a thatch hat became one of the most iconic images of the land invasions – brought light relief to MPs debating the serious subject of President Robert Mugabe’s speech.
But the Zanu PF lawmaker, making his maiden speech following his election on July 31, had some serious contribution to make – away from the histrionics that accompany his delivery.
Parliament’s communication system seemed to fail as Chinotimba rose to speak, briefcase in hand.
Buhera is experiencing extreme poverty, the MP said, and the Agriculture Ministry must be given more money “without wasting time debating it”, he demanded.
The Grain Marketing Board, the government’s grain reserve, must be given more money in order to buy maize from farmers at a fair price, he said, warming to his theme.
“In Buhera, the terrible, potholed and impassable roads now have names. Ndinoona dzimwe nzvimbo dzirikuiswa tara pamusoro peimwe tara (Yet if you go to some parts of the country they are putting tarred roads on top of tarred roads),” he said, his whole contribution delivered in Shona.
While still on the issue of roads, Chinotimba turned to a sore point that many of the gathered MPs who have a rural home have been living with for the last 15 or so years following the looting and subsequent incapacitation of the District Development Fund (DDF).
Said Chinotimba: “ZINARA (Zimbabwe National Roads Administration) must not focus on repairing the tarred roads only. What about the dust roads? Who will fix those?”
Chinotimba then turned to corruption – a key theme of Mugabe’s government programme announced during the official opening of the first session of the eighth parliament on Tuesday last week.
“I applaud President Mugabe for his stance against corruption,” he said. “But the biggest question is where is corruption found? Corruption irikutangwa nevanhu vanemari, kwete vasina (Corruption starts with those with money, not the poor). If you look for corruption here in Parliament, you will find it,” he said, drawing laughter from the packed House.
“For example, if Zanu PF MPs laugh at MDC MPs, and MDC MPs laugh at Zanu PF MPs, that’s corruption!”
Chinotimba called on all Zimbabweans to “unite kuti zvinhu zvifambe”, before majestically walking away from the dispatch box, swinging his briefcase.
Other MPs stood up to make their contributions, but their thunder had been stolen by a man talking from the heart – just as those who elected him would want it!