MDC MPs 'praise' Mugabe for 'peaceful handover' of SADC chair

2015-08-20 12:07
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (File: AP))

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (File: AP))

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Harare – Zimbabwe's opposition members of Parliament reportedly mocked President Robert Mugabe as they "commended" him for the "peaceful handover" of the SADC chair to Botswana leader, Ian Khama.

Mugabe handed over the Southern African Development Community reins to Khama on Monday during the regional body's 35th summit of heads of state and government in Gaborone.

The legislators from the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Morgan Tsvangirai "praised" Mugabe for the "peaceful handover", indirectly referring to the 91-year-old president's "refusal" to consider stepping down at home, the New Zimbabwe.com reported.

"I would like to thank our president, Cde RG Mugabe for handing over the chairmanship of the SADC to Khama... I thought he was going to refuse," Mkoba MP Amos Chibaya was quoted as saying during a national assembly debate on amendments to the country's labour law.

'Hand over the power'

MP James Maridadi also "congratulated" Mugabe, saying; "The time had come for him to hand over the power on rotational basis and I am congratulating him. As a patriotic Zimbabwean I felt I would congratulate him."

An incensed Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Mudenda, however asked the two MPs to withdraw their statements, accusing them of making derogatory remarks about the president, the report said.

"We cannot allow sarcasm in this House. I ask you to apologise," Mudenda said.

Mugabe is the only president Zimbabwe has known since independence in 1980. The nonagenarian and his ruling Zanu-PF party have been blamed for the southern African country's continued economic turmoil.

Zanu-PF has already endorsed him to stand in the 2018 presidential elections, when he will be 94.

Mugabe’s wife, Grace Mugabe, recently made startling remarks when she reportedly told a crowd at a function in Binga, Matabeleland North province, that God was not convinced by the calibre of would-be successors of her husband and this was the reason why he continued to lead the country.

"Just ask yourself why God continues giving a 91-year-old strength to lead the country. Where have you ever seen a 91-year-old who can stand for 2 hours?" the first lady was quoted as saying.

Read more on:    sadc  |  mdc  |  zanu-pf  |  ian khama  |  morgan tsvangirai  |  robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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