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Mliswa urges Parliament to punish MDC for boycotting budget

By Staff Reporter

Norton legislator Temba Mliswa has called on Parliament to take drastic action against MDC legislators who did not attend the 2020 Budget Presentation in the National Assembly today.

Although MDC legislators have in the past been boycotting President Emmerson Mnangagwa over what they call legitimacy issues, the party spokesperson Daniel Molokele said they could not be in Parliament today because they were attending a funeral in Marondera.

However, Honourable Mliswa told the National Assembly that MDC is not sincere and must be punished for behaving in a manner that is not fit for members of Parliament.

“Mr Speaker Sir, I stand before you as a worried citizen.  On the right side, I have colleagues, Members of Parliament belonging to the opposition.  They are not here today and I am now starting to doubt their agenda.  Are they for the people or they are for themselves?

“This institution is an institution that belongs to the people of Zimbabwe.  When we come here, national interest is first.  We were elected by the people to come and represent them.  There was an election which was disputed; it went to the Constitutional Court and a decision was made.  His Excellency, Cde. Mnangagwa won the matter and as such, the process that was carried out allowed him to be the Head of State, which really means he is the head of the three pillars of the State; Parliament, Judiciary and the Executive.

“I am worried that the councillors from the same party that also contested the same election appear before the very same President whom they do not respect.  The decision that they make seems to be a decision which is not consistent with even the resolution that they passed.  They say that they passed a resolution at their party conference to say that they will not respect the President but how come their councillors do the same?  I thought that Members of Parliament were more mature, senior and they would be able to do what is expected of them.

“Mr Speaker Sir, the time has come that this institution comes up with rules that will empower you to be able to deal with any Member of Parliament who behaves in a manner which is not befitting of this institution,” he said.

Honourable Mliswa added that MDC was exhibiting hypocrisy in its conduct adding that they are calling for reforms and yet they are boycotting Parliament which is supposed to come up with the reforms.

“Mr Speaker Sir, with the hypocrisy that they exhibit, they contribute to every Bill in this Parliament and that Bill ends up with the President signing.  So, when the President is signing the Bill and they are contributing, who do they expect to sign that?  It shows that they are aware that the President signs the Bills.

“They contribute to the bills and the bills are signed by the President, so how then can they not be part of this.  They have been complaining about reforms in many ways and they are expected to be in this House to address the very same reforms that they say are not moving the country forward.

“…We were in Victoria Falls together and the Ministers who were presenting their papers were appointed by the President.  So, how can you separate a Minister appointed by the President?  They are willing to listen to the Ministers but they are not willing to listen to the President,” he said.

The Norton legislator added that whoever was giving MDC strategies is failing and is not good strategist adding that the strategies are not sustainable.

Mliswa said the MDC needed to go back to the drawing board to review their strategies as they will not be able to sustain them for a longer period adding that “I see a day when they will be sitting down here and respecting the President.  What will the nation say of them?

“What is the nation saying of them today with the inconsistencies of having councillors respecting the President and them not respecting him?  The Office of the President must be respected and when we come to this institution politics must be outside.  They can go and campaign and say whatever they want about the President but when we come to this institution, it is a sacred institution,” he said.

The self-styled politician said the Parliament must take action to ensure MDC dos not continue with its boycott in Parliament.

“Mr Speaker Sir, I would like you to take corrective action to ensure this does not happen.  I am the one who got up the last time to plead for rescission on the judgment that you had made that they must not ask Ministers.  Today, I am equally one with my constituency who are saying that they are not sincere and as such vakuda shamhu ine munyu chaiyo chaiyo

“Mr Speaker Sir, I want to say you are the head of Parliament and as such, we submit to you and we must show respect.  I think they are disrespecting you by pushing you to the edge.  You are a reasonable leader who forgives, we have seen that but I think they have really pushed you to the edge.  It is a pity I am not in that seat; otherwise, I would have done things

“Mr Speaker Sir, I want to really implore my colleague Members of Parliament wherever they are that I think you are losing the plot.  This nation is bigger than any individual, so is this institution,” said Honourable Mliswa.

In his response, the Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda said he was brewing some punishment which will be revealed later.

“I want to thank Honourable Mliswa for his observations. I do not want to be prophetic about that “shamhu” but I can assure you it is coming.

“I cannot say in what form, it would be revealed at the appropriate time because enough is enough,” said Honourable Mudenda.

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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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