Government investigates Parliament speech mishap
VICE President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, told Parliament on Wednesday that government was investigating the mishap in which President Robert Mugabe was given the wrong speech to officially open the third session of the eighth Parliament on Tuesday afternoon.
Due to the error, President Mugabe had to recall Parliament that had adjourned for a week to sit jointly so that the wrong speech could be recalled and replaced with the correct one.
Parliament is divided into one year sessions for its five year tenure.
President Mugabe rolls out the legislative agenda for each session but this did not happen on Tuesday as the speech he was given did not have any legislative agenda.
During the joint Senate and National Assembly sitting on Wednesday, Vice President Mnangagwa apologised for the mistake and said the matter was now being investigation.
“The theory behind official opening is to roll out the legislative agenda of that session which did not happen yesterday. The error is sincerely regretted,” he said.
He then sought leave of the House so that he could withdraw the wrong text and replace it with the accurate one, which drew sharp resistance from Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) MPs, who felt Mnangagwa must first explain the circumstances of the mishap.
They also wanted Parliament to lead investigations into the issue saying it brought the credibility of Parliament into disrepute.
But Mnangagwa told the House that due to the doctrine of separation of powers, Parliament cannot lead the investigation, which was the duty of the executive.