9th ParliamentArticles

Privileges Committee: MDC cry foul over double prosecution

By Staff Reporter

MDC Chief Whip Honourable Prosper Mutseyami says setting a Privileges Committee to investigate his party’s conduct in Parliament is like double prosecution since they have already been punished through loss of sitting allowances.

The Speaker of the National Assembly a few weeks ago ruled that MDC legislators would lose their 5 months outstanding sitting allowances for refusing to recognise President Emmerson Mnangagwa when he came to the House.

However, according to Honourable Mutseyami, the judgment was done and his members suffered the fate and there is no need to investigate the issue again.

Raising a point of privilege in the National Assembly, the Dangamvura-Chikanga legislator said “I rise on a point of privilege, but mostly to have the attention of the Speaker, so that we will have a response with regard to that in due course.

“It is to do with the presentation that was done by the Speaker yesterday with regards to the Privileges Committee on issues that the Speaker put to the House. It includes an event which happened then, whereby the Speaker ruled that the Hon. Members of the Opposition will not be entitled to their allowances for five months but henceforth the Speaker has put that issue again for investigation, yet he prosecuted, he ruled and he made a judgement.

“On top of all that, he says it has to go again for investigation with the Privileges Committee. When our five months allowances were removed from the Members of the MDC party,” he said.

Speaker of National Assembly announced an all Zanu PF Privileges Committee that will investigate the MDC legislators with Proportional Representation legislator Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga declining a role in the committee.

However, Honourable Mutseyami said he was opposing the issue because a judgment was done and if there are any other issues then they must be clearly articulated.

“If there are any other issues he has to raise, they have to be raised clearly but specifically on that one, I stand to oppose clearly because a judgment was done and we suffered the fate, though we do not agree left, right and centre.

“No one is entitled to get our allowances at whatever level. With that presentation, I seek guidance and response from the Speaker, which is just, democratic and which is equal to the issues that happened then,” he said.

In her ruling, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Tsitsi Gezi ruled that she will advise the Speaker of the point of privileges before Mutare Central legislator Innocent Gonese objected that the Deputy Speaker equally had the power to make a ruling.

Honourable Gezi then promised to study the matter and that she will give a ruling later on.

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Daniel Chigundu

Daniel Chigundu is the news editor for OpenParlyZW an online platform that covers Parliament of Zimbabwe activities using social media (Twitter and Facebook). He is currently the secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Journalists Forum and a board member of Digital Communication Network.

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