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Mugabe to Reconvene Zimbabwe Parliament Tuesday


President Robert Mugabe will reconvene Zimbabwe's parliament Tuesday after an opposition member was elected parliament speaker yesterday. Some political analysts say they are worried today's activities will undermine the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding between the ruling ZANU-PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). But the MDC is warning President Mugabe's government not to construe its participation in today's activities as recognition of Mugabe's presidency.

Busani Ncube is the logistics director for the Bulawayo Project, a non-governmental organization. From Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's commercial capital, he tells reporter Peter Clottey Zimbabweans are relieved that the opposition can now control parliament.

"I think they (Zimbabweans) are looking forward to a very explosive parliament now that the speaker and the deputy speaker of parliament are coming from the opposition party. So, we are waiting to see how the business of parliament will proceed," Ncube noted.

He said the opposition stands a strong chance of challenging President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party in parliament.

"My assumption would be now that the speaker of parliament and they've got deputy speaker of parliament, maybe they (opposition) have got a strategy to control parliament, to control Mugabe and make sure that they control the businesses of parliament," he said.

Ncube said the opposition's initial move to boycott Tuesday's reconvening of parliament has been derailed after MDC parliamentarians assumed the speaker and deputy speaker positions.

"I think the issue of speaker of parliament complicates the whole thing for MDC to boycott or to participate in the parliament business," Ncube pointed out.

He reckons that the ruling ZANU-PF party is shocked the opposition assumed the positions of the speaker and deputy speaker of Zimbabwe's parliament.

"I think ZANU-PF thought they were going to, lets say, win the speaker of parliament through the other MDC faction. I think they were well beaten and they are shocked as a result. If you look at how the ZANU-PF MP's (Members of parliament) came in their numbers to parliament to vote and they were thinking that they will vote with the smaller faction. I think they were not expecting this result and I don't think they (ZANU-PF) have got any plans, they are confused, they are paralyzed, they are shocked and they don't know what to do," he said.

Ncube said Monday's arrests of two opposition members of parliament depict what he described as the ruling party's lackadaisical attitude towards the rule of law and justice.

"This shows that Mugabe is not sincere about the ongoing peace talks, and it also shows that ZANU-PF is not ashamed to do anything to the extent of arresting the MP's when they were coming in for the swearing in ceremony, and the move was designed to influence the voting patterns for the speaker of parliament," Ncube noted.

He said it was apparent from Monday's voting that some members of the ruling party voted for the opposition representative for the speaker position.

"As you saw it was very clear that ZANU-PF MP's voted with the opposition. So, it shows that again ZANU-PF has got their own problems even if they tried to block the MDC PM's from voting," he said.


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