A new Member of Parliament in Scotland took her oath in Shona today. Maggie Chapman, MSP for the North-East, said :“Shona is the majority language of Zimbabwe and I was born and brought up there.
“I am not a native speaker but it is the language of my country of birth so I am bringing a little bit of Africa into the parliament chamber – I expect it will be the first time the oath is done in Shona. My mum still lives in the house I was born in so it is still very much home, if you can have two homes.
“It is a wonderful thing to celebrate the different heritages of the different parliamentarians and it says something about our openness to the rest of the world as well.
“There is an opportunity here to bring something from the other side of the world into the chamber and that is really quite special.”
She added: “My mum is not the greatest at technology but I am hoping a friend can get her set up to watch Parliament TV. My partner will also be watching from home and can send it to her so, one way or another, she will be able to see it.”
Chapman became the first Green to be voted into Holyrood in the north-east region since Shiona Baird in the 2003 Scottish Parliament vote.
In total, 22,735 list votes were cast for the Scottish Greens, a 6.29% vote share.
Ms Chapman, who was co-convener of the Scottish Greens from November 2013 to August 2019, is the current rector at Aberdeen University.
After securing her seat, Ms Chapman said she was delighted the party has made a “breakthrough” in the north-east.
She also said she was proud to be the first Green MSP in the region since Ms Baird left Holyrood in 2007, after an unsuccessful re-election attempt.
When asked if she would join the SNP in backing an independence referendum, she said: “Both parties were very, very, clear, both have a commitment to a referendum.
“We are looking forward to working with the SNP to deliver that, as we know that is the way for Scotland to become the country we know Scotland can be.
“It’s very clear that the people of Scotland have elected a majority in favour of an independence referendum, but also in favour of independence, and we believe it is our democratic right to make that happen.”