via No more beer during Parly sessions – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 8, 2013
THE new Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda has started his term by banning the sale of alcoholic beverages during parliamentary sittings with effect from last Wednesday.
The “august” bar had become popular during parliamentary sittings as some legislators skipped debates to drink alcohol, but Mudenda has now put an end to the imbibing sessions in a move that would likely make him unpopular among the most “truant” MPs.
“I also have to inform the House that the Members’ Bar will, with immediate effect not serve any alcoholic beverages during the sittings of the House. Only soft drinks will be served,” declared Mudenda on the second day of the first sitting of the 8th Parliament on Wednesday October 2 as captured by Hansard, an official record of Parliament’s proceedings.
Mudenda also accused former Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the MDC-T in the House Thokozani Khupe and party MPs of disrespecting him warning them he would take drastic measures if he felt they showed disdain towards him.
The warning was issued after MDC–T MPs gave Khupe a standing ovation last week when she entered the National Assembly contrary to the rules of Parliament which state only the Speaker of Parliament or presiding officer and President Robert Mugabe can be accorded that respect.
“I am concerned by the unacceptable behaviour of MPs from the MDC, who rose from their seats when the leader of the opposition, Hon T Khupe, entered the chamber yesterday (Tuesday October 1). More so, Hon Khupe did not even bow to the chair before she took her seat.
“This apparent lack of respect for the chair and the august House is a flagrant violation of Standing Rules and Orders and will not be tolerated in future without appropriate censure. It is the chair’s hope that such an unfortunate incident will not occur again. In other words, this is a warning and a serious one for that matter,” Mudenda said.
Mudenda has accused MDC-T MPs of not taking the business of Parliament seriously.
Bulawayo South MP Eddie Cross was ejected from the House last week for reading a novel while Parliament was in session.
Cross said he was bored because his party has banned them from debating the President’s speech.