MPs brawl over national flag in Parly

HARARE - Zanu PF MPs yesterday demanded that their MDC counterparts — who were draped in Zimbabwean flags — leave Parliament as the fall-out over #ThisFlag campaign extended to the national assembly.

The country’s flag has become the rallying symbol of the anti-government protests dubbed #Thisflag which are led by popular clergyman Evan Mawarire.

Mawarire and pressure group — Tajamuka — have assumed the new face of Zimbabwe’s political and social struggles.

Apparently, the ruling party which has in the past accused the opposition of being unpatriotic, is no longer eager to identify with the national flag which has become the in-thing across the country and a symbol of protests against President Robert Mugabe’s rule.

Chaos erupted after two MDC legislators, Godfrey Sithole (Chitungwiza North) and Trevor Saruwaka (Mutasa Central MDC), stepped into Parliament with the Zimbabwean flag hanging on their shoulders.

Zanu PF Buhera West MP Oliver Mandipaka was not amused and rose to a point of order — reminding his colleagues of a previous ruling that was made by national assembly speaker Jacob Mudenda on wearing flags in Parliament.

“There was a ruling...that members of the opposition should not wear the national flag in the House. The flag should be respected,” Mandipaka said amid interjections by other MPs.

But the MDC MPs refused to take the flags off saying it was their constitutional right to show their patriotism by wearing the flag.

“It would be a violation of the Constitution of Zimbabwe if there were to be asked to take them off,” said MDC chief whip, Innocent Gonese, in defending his colleagues.

MDC MP Bacillia Majaya said the implications of the ruling meant that anyone with any type of flag no matter the size should remove it.

“So those with badges (Zanu PF member with badges of the flag) should remove them,” Majaya said.

National Assembly deputy speaker Marble Chinomona then said: “A ruling was given, I am not sending you out but to go and take off the flag.”

MDC members started exchanging the flags in defiance.

The Zimbabwean flag has been popularised by Mawarire who has used it as rallying symbol against the deepening economic problems and the rot in Zanu PF.

Mugabe and Zanu PF accuse Mawarire of being used by western governments in his campaigns.

Meanwhile, Parliament yesterday expelled convicted rapist and Zanu PF Bikita West MP Munyaradzi Kereke.

Chinomona announced that the Constitution of Zimbabwe (Section 129) does not allow for a convicted criminal to be a Member of Parliament.

The deputy speaker said Kereke ceases to be MP because he was sentenced to 10 years in prison

“Accordingly the necessary administrative measures will be taken to inform...Mugabe and Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) of the existence of the vacancy in line with the Electoral Act,” Chinomona said.

Kereke was convicted of raping his niece and was slapped with 14 years in jail, four which were suspended on condition of good behaviour, leaving him to serve 10 years.

Comments (8)

Having one's national flag is a sure sign of patriotism.If it is not,then I don't know what is.

Chikata - 21 July 2016

They should just put on clothing bearing the national colours,and shame the Devil.

jayy - 21 July 2016

Marble Chinomona, the murderer is singing foe her supper. She is now very careful after having been temporarily booted out following the botched Tsholotsho debacle. ZANU PF is a disgrace.

Zvichapera - 21 July 2016

This is just a sign that the regime is scared of its rottenness and failure to the extend that they don't want to associate themselves with the national flag. Anyone seen dawning it will be viewed as unpatriotic. This regime's time is fast running out as they are in want of new ideas. Time is certainly not on their side

pride - 21 July 2016

The people of Buhera are in a fix, they have Chinotimba in the east and they have Mandipaka in the west.

Galore - 21 July 2016

@jay.....i'm thinking the same thing, they can get tailor-made shirts with the flag colors on it and outfits with flag colors for the ladies, even without the bird and they'll surely shame the devil.

misty - 21 July 2016

There was a ruling that opposition members should not wear the flag in the House. Why only opposition parties? Does that mean they are not considered patriotic or Zimbabweans because they are the opposition??

Curious - 22 July 2016

zanu pf is correct. They hav their own flag with th dementic dictator on it. That's why they r ruining every segment of a beautiful country. To them patriotism means eulogising th president....

Dhewa - 23 July 2016

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