'Change has come to Zimbabwe': Zimbabwe's new deputy prime minister, Arthur G.O. Mutambara delivered his maiden speech to Parliament. And what a speech it was! The tough-talking 43-year-old leader of the erstwhile opposition had something for everybody. "I would be remiss in the discharge of my duties if I did not deliver a no-holds-barred maiden speech," he warned. For the record, here are excerpts.

Position::ZIMBABWE - Speech
 
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WE ARE AT A STAGE IN our country where we are building bridges. We are at that juncture where we have found each other. We have come together; we must stay together, work together and deliver on the promise of our revolution. This is national interest time.

We have embarked on an irreversible process of inclusiveness, with the clear understanding that the GPA [Global Political Agreement, signed on IS September 2008, which set up the Inclusive Government] is the only workable arrangement in our country. There is unprecedented unanimity among our citizens on this position.

As I present my views, let me emphasise that my intention is to build, and not to destroy; unify, and not disunite. However, I will seek to challenge us as Zimbabweans by speaking frankly on the matters we are facing. Is it not that they say a problem realised is half solved?

The question is then how do you achieve this? This is done by carrying out radical political and economic reforms underpinned by five key activities: healing the nation, adopting a new constitution, resolving the humanitarian crisis, recovering and stabilising the economy, and transforming our economy.

Our people and country went through trauma and brutality in the 27 June elections. The national healing process must achieve a "never again" framework. Never again should Zimbabweans slaughter each other over political differences. Never again should Zimbabweans question each other's patriotism because of political affiliation. Most of the challenges that confront us as a nation are due to a dysfunctional, ineffective and undemocratic constitution. In adopting a new constitution, it is important that the process of developing it is as important as the final contents.

There are three themes that we must grasp. The first one is that "Change has come to Zimbabwe and we cannot behave as if it is business as usual." All of us, Zimbabweans and those external players interested in the matters of our nation, need a paradigm shift in the way we think, and operate.

The days of a unitary government driven by one party are gone. We now have an inclusive government with three political parties in cabinet. In the new dispensation, executive authority now clearly resides in three locations: the presidency, premiership, and cabinet. There are only three things that the president can constitutionally do without consulting the other two centres of power, that is: declare war, declare martial law, and appoint his two deputies. On any other decisions, there have to be discussions with the premiership and cabinet. Any behaviour outside this framework is illegal, and will be challenged, institutionally, politically, and in the courts.

Even your work here in Parliament has to change. You need a paradigm shift as well. There are no longer any opposition benches, or ruling party ones. You can no longer operate on a partisan basis, as we are all now in one government together.

So how are you going to do your work? When a cabinet minister brings a position...

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