MDC MP faces jail time

HARARE - An opposition legislator Settlement Chikwinya  faces up to two years in prison for contempt of Parliament.

Jacob Mudenda, Speaker of the National Assembly, said Chikwinya had repeatedly failed to heed warnings to stop lying about salaries of public officials.

He said Chikwinya’s punishment will be announced in due course.

“It shows wilful disregard of the authority of the chair,” Mudenda warned.  “Therefore pursuant to the relevant provisions of the law, appropriate measures to deal with the member will be announced in due course.”

Under the Powers and Privileges of Parliament Act, the Zimbabwean Parliament is empowered to jail people who commit contempt against it for up to two years. People sentenced by Parliament can, however, appeal to the courts.

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 earned $320 000, and said clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma was corrupt and implicated in the “salarygate scandal”.

“The (Speaker’s) chair has noted with grave concern the persistence by some honourable members of Parliament to disregard and defy lawful orders made by the chair in respect of adherence to peremptory constitutional provisions,” Mudenda said. “By way of a reminder, this is the last warning to the members concerned and others inclined to do so.”

Mudenda mentioned Chikwinya by name saying he was the errant MP who will soon find himself on the wrong side of the law and could face contempt of Parliament charges.

He said Chikwinya has made serious allegations that the Speaker had been gagging MPs from debating the motion on corruption and that he had watered down the motion. 

He said on March 6, Chikwinya disregarded him by saying “the original motion was  watered down.”

Mudenda said he clarified to the MPs that he had not watered down the motion and said he had studied the amendments by Irene Zindi which he said were different from Chikwinya and Willias Madzimure’s, who were the mover of the ‘‘salarygate’’ motion.

He said for Chikwinya to suggest that the motion had been watered down was a serious attack on the Speaker.

Mudenda alleged lawmakers were violating the 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.

Comments (16)

Be your own man Mr. Speaker Sir and stop these scarecrow tactics. On behalf of the down trodden Tonga people I urge you to be tolerant and not be the one to suppress debate in parliament. Settlement is young and ambitious, may be too ambitious for that matter but that should not cloud your judgement. I suggest you throw him out of parliament for two or three sittings as a demonstration of your desire to protect the integrity of the house. But to consider anything else would be misconstrued to mean you are not your own man.

Mandy Chirokwati - 12 March 2014

To err is human. If the president of this country can be misinformed about masimirembwa with an intelligence arm and police at his disposal what about a mere MP who cannot be availed a payroll for any parastatal. MPs must move motions, facts will be verified by the relevant committee otherwise these guys will not do anything because they don't have all required information at the point of debate. Cry beloved Zim when a speaker threatens backbenchers.

Tichaona - 12 March 2014

its that easy mr speaker sir prove him wrong by proving it to the nation if all what is he is saying is not the truth face the nation at times these mps are some mouthpiece of the suffering masses we need an explanation not just send someone to jail

joseph mufunda - 12 March 2014

Settlement is the only active MP from MDc.he is trying to be heard by people from his kwekwe constituence.muregereiwo.iwe wanyanya mufana kutaurisa.isa mabrakes

magwaku - 12 March 2014

Settlement is the only active MP from MDc.he is trying to be heard by people from his kwekwe constituence.muregereiwo.iwe wanyanya mufana kutaurisa.isa mabrakes

magwaku - 12 March 2014

Finally Mudenda shoots the messenger. People won't forget that Mudenda was once caught up in corruption, i.e. the Willowgate Scandal, and now he doesn't want people to discuss corruption because it reminds him of what he did years ago. Chikwinya simply aired what is in the public domain. Probably he should have been asked not to mention those public domain figures. Actually Mudenda should have asked Pasi to provide his payslip so that Chikwinya and the public would know his real salary. ZIMRA is a public company and this is what Mudenda and Pasi should know. Don't waste taxpayers' money hurting Chikwinya.

Nkosi Mambo - 12 March 2014

Manyebo iyaya ndiwo anoshatisa even reputation yenyika. THINK and have facts before you utter

Top 5 - 12 March 2014

That is the problem when you ask foxes to take care of the sheep. We know Mudenda is singing for his supper and Zimbabwe will continue to suffer because of such people. Prove him wrong? If a country's riches were boosted by the arrest of opposing forces Zimbabwe would be the richest. True where are they taking us to?

maita - 12 March 2014

so MPs are going to be silenced by the mundedas and pasis just like that for pointing out their corruption? who will speak and protect the MPs.WERE IS JONAS, CHINOZ, MLISWA, MAJOME, YOU GUYS HELP STOP THIS NONSESE OF SCARING OFF MPs

mwana webvu - 12 March 2014

Thats Zimbabwe hama woyee. What good can come out of this country when we have people like Mudenda or Mundenda whatever the case might be? Nothing and very nothing. Mundenda is just being used by the UNTOUCHABLE Pasi who is acting on behalf of Mugabe. Zanu PF doesnt want people who speak the thruth. If he lied can you prove him? Chikwinya dont worry you will easily win this case. We want to see Pasi´s payslip. In other countries even the president´s salary is made public and yet in Zimbabwe its taboo to talk about Pasi´s salary. Oh cry my beloved country cry.

Exiled - 12 March 2014

Mr Speaker sir, do you remember advert haiti" Muri kuchema nzara- Hamusati" it was removed from ZTV vanhu vaakuoona kuti Tsvangirai was telling the truth. You risk repeating the same mistake when in the public court you will see payslips and salaries of Geshem, Zvoma and the ownership papers of Shamu's car. We have proof and we welcome the court route, it will expose what you are trying to hide. I would have thought you were going to request Pasi's payslip backed by bank statements. Lets not forget that you guys are civil servants on taxpayer salary so thre is nothing confidential about what you earn. in the 80s we all knew what PM Mugabe was earning. Go Chikwinya Go , Pamberi na Chikwinya n Mliswa- na Moyo MPS OF THE YEAR.

LEE MOYO - 12 March 2014

Where are the Lawyers for Human Rights? This is one case that every Lawyers worth his salt should be eager to defend, and parliamentarians should be setting up a defence fund. If he goes to jail, then that is the death of parliament. Medenda is just pathetic.

Mbongeni Sakhe - 12 March 2014

who is this mudenda? of all the speakers of parliament, i find him a clueless man bent on supporting corruption because he is too. prove to the nation that chikwinya was lying

gaza - 13 March 2014

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lts as simple as that if Pasi and the Clerk of Parliament are not earning monster salary's prove it to the Nation. SHOW US THEIR PAYSLIPS AND BENEFITS IT'S THAT SIMPLE

Roland Dube - 13 March 2014

Mudenda allegedly told people way back during the Willowgate scandal that he had made his fortunes through being the son of a garbage collector. From then on he sort of disappeared from the limelight only to resurface now as the speaker of parliament. He is not new on corruption and people should understand that the mere mention of the word 'corruption' unnerves him. Zimbabwe suffers from a leadership crisis.

tomasi ndofeni tohwi - 14 March 2014

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