The three political parties that signed agreement to share power should conclude allocation of cabinet posts to enable the new government to start tackling challenges the country is facing, Zimbabwe Senate has heard.
In a debate on the speech by Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday, Senate leader for the Arthur Mutambara-led MDC (the movement for Democratic Change) formation, David Coltart, said the new government should address the food crisis immediately.
"We need a government as soon as possible to address this crisis," he was quoted by the local news agency New Ziana on Thursday as saying.
The three political parties have for over three weeks been negotiating allocation of cabinet posts in a government of national unity.
The Zimbabwe ruling Zanu PF will get 16 posts while the larger formation of the MDC will get 13 and the smaller three posts.
Coltart also called on the three parties to the agreement to put national interests first for the pact to survive possible challenges in implementation.
"This is just the beginning of a long road. It is an imperfect agreement reached as a result of compromise," he said.
"It is incumbent upon all of us to put national interests first before partisan interests."
He said Zimbabwe had the potential to become the jewel of Africa if all parties worked together.
Coltart said he agreed with some issues President Robert Mugabe raised in his speech opening the parliament but differed on others.
Issues he agreed with included calls to reform the United Nations and tackling corruption while he begged to differ on issues related to inflation.
The senator said corruption should be tackled whole heatedly and not piecemeal.
He called for introduction of new laws to deal with corruption.
"Corruption will continue until we have the necessary legislation in place," he said.
Contributing to the debate, senator Oriya Kabayanjiri called on members of the Upper House to fully appraise their constituencies on implications of the power sharing agreement in order to unite the people.
Kabayanjiri urged outsiders to stop interfering in internal affairs of the country, saying Zimbabweans had the capacity to solve their own problems.
MDC-T legislators refused to debate the speech by President Mugabe, saying it was irrelevant as the country now had to focus on issues affecting the people.
Meanwhile, the Senate adjourned to November 4.
Senate also hailed former South African President Thabo Mbeki for the role he played in facilitating the power-sharing agreement between ruling Zanu-PF and the two opposition MDC formations, saying Zimbabweans should now work together to turn around the economy.
Also contributing to debate on the president's official opening speech, Senators commended Mbeki for a sterling work in his facilitation.
Mbeki, who resigned last month as South African president, facilitated the dialogue between the Zimbabwean parties, which resulted in the signing of an agreement to form an inclusive government.