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MDC MPs: Why we walked out of SONA

By James Martin

MDC legislators said they walked out on President Emmerson Mnangagwa as a way of maintaining their stance that he is an illegitimate leader.

The legislators did not stand when Mnangagwa and stood up when the national anthem was being sung and the walked out as soon as the President started reading his State of the Nation Address (SONA).

In an interview on why they walked out on the President, MDC spokesperson Daniel Molokele said that his party still maintain that Mnangagwa did not win the 2018 general elections.

“As the MDC we still do not recognize ED Mnangagwa as the president of this country.

“The (2018) Presidential election result does not represent the will of the people of Zimbabwe. It is the Presidency that we are disputing as the MDC.

“We are very clear that advocate Nelson Chamisa is the one who actually won the elections and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is not independent enough to give the true result.

“As that issue remains unresolved, we as the MDC we cannot sit down and listen to someone whom we clearly know that he stole the election,” Molokele said.
In what has been perceived as an attempt to lure opposition legislators not to embarrass President Mnangagwa during SONA, treasury paid legislators their outstanding sitting allowances with some legislators allegedly pocketing as much as ZW$17 000 per person.

However, the alleged move appears to have failed to yield results as the opposition legislators walked out on the under-fire leader.

In response, leader of government business in the National Assembly Honourable Ziyambi Ziyambi branded MDC legislators as being a confused lot.

“If I may put it correctly, they are a confused lot. You don’t come into an August House as a product of an election that put in place this President and themselves and you decide that you don’t recognize the process,” Ziyambi said.
He added: “Our Constitution indicates that our legislature consists of the President and Parliament.

“So whatever they will do after this, if they are to pass a law, who will sight that law?

Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob
Mudenda has also ruled that the MDC legislator will not get their sitting allowances for today and he also said Parliament will also withdraw names of the opposition legislators from a pay sheet of outstanding sitting allowances that had been forwarded to the treasury.

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Daniel Chigundu

Daniel Chigundu is a male journalist in Zimbabwe and has been practising since September 2009. He used to the editor for The Business Connect (newspaper) in Harare, has his own news website Tourism Focus which is biased towards the tourism sector. Daniel is also working with Magamba Network on their project called Open Parliament where they do live coverage of Parliamentary activities on Twitter and Facebook. He is currently the secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Journalists Forum, is a member of Zimbabwe Small Broadcasters Association and a board member of Digital Communication Network. He holds a Diploma in Communication and Journalism from the Christian College of Southern Africa (CCOSA), a certificate in Youth leadership training from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), a certificate in Citizen Journalism from Magamba Network and is currently a first-year student at Zimbabwe Open University studying for a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Ethics and Organisational Leadership.

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