HARARE - Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC will be the biggest loser from the launch of Joice Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People First (ZPF), Zanu PF secretary for legal affairs Patrick Chinamasa has claimed.
Responding to questions without notice time in the National Assembly yesterday, Chinamasa said Zanu PF was not losing sleep over the formation of ZPF.
“Yes, I admit what we saw yesterday is a group of disgruntled former Zanu PF leadership being grafted to MDC-T followers. So the obituary should be on their side. They no longer have any followers,” Chinamasa said.
His remarks came after Kuwadzana East MDC MP Nelson Chamisa had queried government’s position on the recent attacks on war veterans.
“VaChinamasa takaona zvinorwadza zvikuru mawar veterans edu achidirwa mvura inopisa vachidirwa utsi hunokachidza (we were hurt to see our liberation icons being tear-gassed),” Chamisa said.
“But they are our liberation fighters, magamba akaitwa sezvigamba (our war veterans were reduced to beggars). What does the government say about the stressing of our liberation icons?”
Chinamasa replied calmly, saying President Robert Mugabe had adequately addressed war veterans.
“The president correctly apologised to the war vets and he apportioned blame to what happened. It is regrettable what happened and I hope in future such incidences will not occur,” he said.
In a supplementary question, Chamisa questioned if actions of the police were not sowing discontent among the ranks of liberation fighters, resulting in the formation of breakaway parties such as ZPF.
“ . . . I think he must begin to write an obituary of his party because the people that were assembled were disgruntled MDC-T people,” Chinamasa said.
The war veterans’ bashing stirred debate when Innocent Gonese, who is the MDC MP for Mutare Central, probed Home Affairs deputy minister Obedingwa Mguni if the police were acquainted with the provisions of the Public Order and Security Act (Posa).
“...are they aware that organisations such as the war veterans associations are not actually required to apply or notify the police?”
Mguni acknowledged it was a pertinent question but said: “I would like to go back and find out.”
It immediately drew the ire of legislators, with Musikavanhu MDC MP Prosper Mutseyami raising a point of order.
“Mr Speaker Sir, this house has the responsibility to ask Cabinet minister who should be well versed with issues to do with this country,” he said.
“As we speak, Mr Speaker Sir, we have more than 30 Cabinet ministers but we only have about 11 in Parliament if we are to include their deputies, then we have about 70 ministers.”
“So it’s important to see to it that your office is given the due respect it deserves. We have raised issues with regard to non-availability of ministers in this house.
“Now it seems like the shortage of ministers in this house is now a normal scenario whereby we pose questions to deputy ministers who are not in picture of what is happening.”