Attacks on female legislators escalate

MUTARE - Zanu PF thugs ran amok on Thursday, disrupting a public hearing on electoral reforms, before manhandling female legislators at Dangamvura’s Beit Hall, in similar nasty scenes as those witnessed at Wednesday’s chaotic events in Parliament where police were accused of molesting female MPs.

The apparently bussed in ruffians attacked legislators Jessie Majome and Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga during submissions by civic groups who questioned Zanu PF’s parcelling out of land to ruling party youths in the run-up to last week’s Norton by-election which was won by gutsy independent candidate Temba Mliswa.

The Zanu PF yobs claimed afterwards that they had been angered by Majome’s allegedly partial disposition to views at the heated meeting which were critical of the government, while Majome herself suggested that the whole fiasco had been choreographed in advance.

“There are people who came with the intention of disrupting the meeting. They came to disturb those who wanted to make their submissions in peace. We will not be deterred from getting the views of Zimbabweans who want to speak about free and fair elections,” she said.

On her part, Misihairambwi-Mushonga fingered Dangamvura-Chikanga MP, Esau Mupfumi, for the disturbances after he allegedly availed his bus to the rowdy Zanu PF supporters to come to the meeting.

“What is disheartening is that these people were clearly well-organised and were bussed by a fellow MP to come and harass his colleagues who are carrying out their duties,” she said.

The ugly Dangamvura scenes came hardly two days after pandemonium broke out in Parliament, following the ill-advised decision by authorities to eject an MDC MP from the august house for wearing a jacket adorned with the colours of the Zimbabwe flag.

The unprecedented subsequent move by the police to storm the National Assembly came after acting Speaker of Parliament, Mabel Chinomona, surprisingly ruled that MDC MP Costa Machingauta be removed from the house for proudly wearing his colourful jacket.

Rights groups which spoke to the Daily News said Chinomona was at fault in the sad saga, adding that she should be held accountable for the chaotic scenes which they said had brought Parliament into disrepute.

Some of the MPs who were allegedly abused by the police include Lwazi Sibanda, the MDC MP for Tsholotsho, who claimed that she had her undergarment torn as one of the officers pulled her by the skirt, while another legislator, Susan Machuma, alleged that one of the officers had fondled her breasts.

Chinomona, who was getting advice from Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda, promised that the matter would be investigated thoroughly.

However, she maintained that according to the rules of Parliament, police had authority to come in to arrest persons who could be interrupting the business of the house, adding that they did not need a warrant of arrest to do so.

Most MPs across party divides were also in agreement that the police had infringed the constitution by invading Parliament and roughing up legislators, thereby ignoring a key tenet of Zimbabwe’s constitutional democracy — the separation of powers between the Executive and Parliament.

Comments (3)

ZANU has fallen

JOJO - 30 October 2016

ZANU PF loyalists always justify their unconstitutional acts by making reference to non specified sections of iether the constitution itself of other pieces of legislation. Maybe they think we are not educated enough to make note of this poorly calculated technic of "make believe lies" as a strategy to confuse us. MPHOKO said the police and the anti corruption commission must seek permission from the president first before arresting a cabinet minister, and no specific section of any law that makes such a provision was cited, and i know for a fact, no such provision exists. Now it is this acting speaker of parliament, Mable Chinomona is trying to justify herself saying its according to the law that the police can come into a parliament session to forcifully eject a constitutionally elected MP, i would want to know which law or section of the law makes such a provision. According to the constitution of Zim, section 148, MPs enjoy immunity to arrest or litigation over words said or actions committed in parliament. ZANU is good at making us blieve their lies. Manje not this time. Madzva.

gandaga - 30 October 2016

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unchuabriol - 31 October 2016

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