Practice and promote peace: Pupurai Togarepi urges Parliamentarians

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Writes Muchimba Faro

Speaking during a debate of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NRPC) report in the National Assembly in Mt Hampden yesterday, Gutu South Member of the House of Assembly who is also the ruling party ZANU (PF) Chief Whip, Honourable Pupurai Togarepi told Members of Parliament to stop pretending to hate each other in public but promote peace and unity.
The NPRC was established by section 258 of the Zimbabwean Constitution and like all Commissions, it is obliged by section 323 to report annually to Parliament.
Hon. Togarepi commended the commission on its work in the last 10 years since its establishment, pinning much emphasis on the report’s theme ‘Prevention of Conflicts’ as a modus operandi in sustaining and enjoying the peaceful environment as a nation.
The House was religiously quiet when the Chief Whip warned Members against pretending to be enemies in front of cameras by shouting at each other when outside Parliament and in hotels, the same MPs walk hand-in-hand, side by side, and share smoke pipes.
“When you see members appear to be throwing words across the divide, you would think they hate each other. I will tell NPRC that these (MPs) are lying because I see them hand-in-hand, happy everywhere. They only want to come here to make a lot of noise. Maybe because of cameras, they want to be seen as if they have problems. I have seen members from the opposite side and my side pretending to be shouting. I don’t know who they want out there to see that they can shout at each other, but I see you in hotels very close, sharing closely,” said Hon. Togarepi.
Parliamentarians were encouraged to cultivate and be the embodiment of peace and harmony as seen in their other lives out of camera lenses. He said it was commendable for Parliament to accompany the NPRC in communities so that MPs from all political parties can speak peace, and inform communities that any MP who comes alone and speaks badly about his or her counterpart will be lying and pretending to hate.
In addressing the polarization that has engulfed the nation, Hon Togarepi bemoaned a group of citizens who create stories either for sympathy or to make money from donors.
“There should come a time as a people that in what is good we stand together and say this is good for our country, and encourage good things to proceed. Where something is wrong we then stand together and blame what is wrong,” emphasized Hon. Togarepi.
Other Honourable Members who debated the report include Hon. Karenyi from Mutare, Hon. Tshuma from Bulawayo, and Hon. Mushoriwa among others.