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There is need to respect Zimbabwe’s national languages as part of efforts to enhance the preservation of the country’s culture, Chiefs Council president Fortune Charumbira has said. He said one reason why Africa lagged behind was the failure to promote its culture, as carried by the national languages.

Chief Charumbira said this while making a contribution to a motion moved by Matabeleland North Senator Thokozile Mathuthu (Zanu-PF), calling for the usage of all the 16 languages recognised in the Constitution. Sen Mathuthu had expressed concern at the low usage of the national languages.

Chief Charumbira said that in other countries they were particular on the use of their native languages, while countries such as Zimbabwe used English ahead of their national languages.

“We do not have confidence in our language and culture,” he said. “We lack innovation. The English that we use to attack (former British Prime Minister) Tony Blair, it would appear like we are apologetic about our language.”

Chief Charumbira said in Zimbabwe there was even a tendency to look down upon traditional leaders, notwithstanding that some of them were equally educated if not better.

He gave an example of Japan, which he said was aancing its technology, but made inscription using its native language.

Chief Charumbira gave examples of the ongoing 2014 Fifa World Cup tournament, saying players from great football nations such as Germany, Portugal and Netherlands gave post match interviews in their languages whereas African players wanted to use English.

“We have failed to make the grade as Africa in Brazil because of inferiority complex,” he said. “Players are afraid to get into contact with these European nations.”

Senate Deputy President Chen Chimutengwende said Parliament was in the process of recruiting interpreters and putting together other logistical requirements before other national languages could be used in Parliament.

Making another contribution, Manicaland Senator Judith Mawire (Zanu-PF), said there was need for a law criminalising stigma against disabled persons.

She said in the old days, disabled people were shunned, sometimes even killed in other societies.

Sen Mawire was making the contribution on a motion by the Senator representing people with Disabilities, Ms Anah Shiri calling for Government to make available facilities for disabled people.

Source : The Herald