Hon. Bajila Calls Out Translation Errors in Official Parliament Hansard

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Hon. Bajila Calls Out Translation Errors in Official Parliament Hansard
Hon. Bajila Calls Out Translation Errors in Official Parliament Hansard

Hon. Bajila Calls Out Translation Errors in Official Parliament Hansard

Emakhandeni Luveve Constituency legislator Discent Collins Bajila has complained over wrong translations in the National Assembly Hansard.

The Hansard is a text version of what would have transpired in Parliament.

Some legislators in Zimbabwe’s Parliament are not very conversant with English. They often speak in vernacular which is then translated into English by the Hansard.

However, according to Honourable Bajila, some translations are wrong.

‘’I have been reading the Hansard a lot Madam Speaker. On the 15th of November, I addressed this House in Xhosa, the translation to English was wrong. Madam Speaker, on the 14th of February, Hon. Gwangwaba spoke in this House in Tonga, the translation was so wrong and actually offensive.

‘’His named appeared in the Hansard as Hon. Mwapona because he greeted the Speaker and said mwapona biyeni and the Hansard actually wrote his name as Hon. Mwapona, his name is Hon. Gwangwaba.

‘’Madam Speaker, this is a point of privilege that I would like to raise in the sense that while I am here and capable of speaking in English, there are certain things that I cannot express properly unless I revert to the mother tongue.

‘’If the systems for automatic translation are not in place, it affects my ability to represent my community, and it affects my ability to present myself freely and to the best of my abilities.

‘’I therefore request that through you Madam and in line with the dictates of Section 6 of the Constitution, we move quickly to automatic translation. If it is possible, we can find the people who can assist with the proper translation each and every time. It might go even worse as we go to the Upper House because we also read the Hansard that side, the problem is the same,’’ he said.

I am sorry for that, says Hon. Gezi

Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Tsitsi Gezi, apologised for the issues, adding that Parliament will rectify the issue.

‘’Thank you Honourable Member for that,’’ she said. ‘’I am sorry for that and I am sure the administration has taken note of that.’’

The issue of translations has been a challenge at the Parliament of Zimbabwe. In previous years, legislators were urged to use English as the institution could not afford to rope in translators.

Zimbabwe has about 16 official languages recognised by the constitution, but Parliament mostly transacts its business in English.

Hon. Bajila Calls Out Translation Errors in Official Parliament Hansard