Legislators abusing Parly privilege — Speaker

HARARE - Jacob Mudenda, Speaker of the National Assembly, yesterday threatened to charge legislators with contempt of Parliament for lying about salaries of public officials.

Mudenda alleged lawmakers were violating Zimbabwean Priviledges, Immunities and Powers of Parliament Act. The Act speaks to the rights of parliamentarians to protection from impeachment for what they say in Parliament.

Mudenda said there was potential for abuse of the priviledges, and named Settlement Chikwinya, MDC legislator for Mbidzo, as one member who has allegedly used privilege to make damaging allegations that would ordinarily be discouraged by defamation laws, without first determining whether those allegations have a strong foundation.

“The chair shall demand objective and verifiable evidence in support of such a motion,” Mudenda warned.

“Any violation of this order will be met with appropriate remedial action  including  charges  of contempt of Parliament against  members of Parliament suspected of abusing  parliamentary privileges, particular through uttering  statements that are false,  malicious and likely to unjustly injure other members of Parliament as well members  of the public.”

The Speaker said members may be held in contempt if they present to Parliament or any committee, false or untrue, fabricated or falsified documents with the intention to deceive the House.

Mudenda alleged Chikwinya had committed the offence on three different occasions starting on October 16, 2013, during the debate on the motion on removal of sanctions, by alleging a certain Zanu PF MP was involved in murder.

Mudenda said on February 27 during a corruption debate, Chikwinya made serious allegations against Webster Shamu that he received cars from the scandal-plagued ZBC, alleged  Gershem Pasi, commissioner-general of Zimbabwe Revenue Authority of Zimbabwe, as well Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma were corrupt and implicated in the salarygate scandal.

Chikwinya was unreachable for comment last night.

Comments (3)

Mr Speaker sir, are you by any means related to one Jacob Mudenda who was implicated in the Willowvale scandal?

Teabag Masamba - 6 March 2014

Mr speaker, the MP has given you information as to who you should investigate regarding salarygate. Please check and let us know what the said corrupt people get as salaries and benefits. Did Shamu who placed and left Hapson Muchechetere to loot ZBC get a vehicle from ZBC and if so what reason was given for such contaminated gift from a looting CEO

ben - 6 March 2014

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.