9th ParliamentArticles

Withdraw MDC diplomatic passports: Sacco

By Daniel Chigundu

Chimanimani East legislator Joshua Sacco has called on Parliament to consider withdrawing diplomatic passports from MDC legislators accusing them of using the privileged documents to denigrate Zimbabwe.

The call comes at a time when MDC has been sending some of its senior officials outside the country on what it terms “diplomatic offensive” missions.

These missions are seeking to mobilise the international community to put pressure on Harare so that it implements political and economic reforms among other things.

Speaking in the National Assembly Honourable Sacco said the diplomatic passports are being used to commit acts of treason and must be withdrawn.

“Mine is a point of privilege around the use of diplomatic or red passports.  I have noticed with concern that the use of red passports by people who are denigrating Zimbabwe and bringing the name of Zimbabwe into disrepute and also bringing the name of His Excellency into disrepute.

“We have people who are using diplomatic passports to denigrate Zimbabwe and bring the name of His Excellency into disrepute.  Those people are treasonous and I propose that those passports should be withdrawn,” he said.

In his response to the request by Honourable Sacco, the Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda said he will take the matter with the Minister of Home Affairs adding that the passport should not be abused in any way.

“The holding of a diplomatic passport carries with it some heavy responsibilities; it is an honoured privilege and therefore cannot be abused especially during international relations.

“I shall have to converse with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and deal with the matter accordingly,” he said.

According to Home Affairs Portfolio Committee chairperson Kindness Paradza, all legislators are entitled to President Emmerson Mnangagwa agreed to issue to diplomatic passports.

Issues of diplomatic passports have been topical in Zimbabwe for some time with some suggesting that legislators have no need for the red passports especially when most people are failing to access the document.

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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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