Zimbabwe’s elected speaker of parliament, advocate Jacob Mudenda, on Wednesday apologised to chief justice Luke Malaba and Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson justice Priscilla Chigumba following their humiliation by opposition members of parliament (MPs).
Mudenda, a Zanu-PF member, was retained as speaker in elections held on Tuesday, where he beat the MDC Alliance’s Paurina Mpariwa.
“On behalf of the parliament of Zimbabwe … I would like to publicly apologise unreservedly to the chief justice, his Lordship Luke Malaba and the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission [Zec], justice Priscilla Chigumba, for the indecorous behavior by some members of the national assembly during the swearing-in ceremony of the presiding officers yesterday,” Mudenda said in a statement.
Mudenda said Malaba and Chigumba, by virtue of the offices they hold, should be accorded the respect they deserve.
“The behaviour was uncalled for and should be condemned in the strongest possible terms,” he said.
Mudenda reminded national assembly members that the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that the house must protect the supreme law of the land and promote democratic governance in the country.
He also reminded the MPs who recently took the oath of office that legislators must act constitutionally and in the interest of the nation.
On Tuesday, opposition MDC Alliance parliamentarians jeered Malaba and called him a “thief” as he arrived at parliament to swear in presiding officers who were elected.
The MPs also booed Chigumba and she had to be whisked out of parliament by the deputy clerk of parliament, Hellen Dingani.
Malaba led a Constitutional Court bench that unanimously ruled against a petition brought by MDC Alliance leader and presidential candidate in the July 30 election, Nelson Chamisa, and confirmed President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s victory.
Chigumba and the electoral management body Zec, were also accused of colluding with Zanu-PF to avert Chamisa’s supposed victory.