Zanu PF gags MPs

HARARE - Warring Zanu PF has gagged its MPs from tabling contentious reports in Parliament before they are debated at the headquarters as it bids to censor information it deems damages the party in the eyes of the public.

This comes as ministers have been battered by the parliamentary portfolio committees which are dominated by Zanu MPs.

Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa this week told MPs that they no longer present their reports without going through the party’s whipping system at its HQ where changes could be effected.

Zanu PF MPs who spoke to the Daily News on condition of anonymity revealed that Mnangagwa had addressed all ruling party legislators on Wednesday and gave them a gag order barring portfolio committee chairpersons from presenting reports that paint party bigwigs, including ministers in a negative manner.

“The Vice President (Mnangagwa) was unequivocal on Wednesday in demanding that before any report by a committee chaired by Zanu PF is brought to Parliament, it has to come to the party headquarters first so that we will be whipped on how we should debate it to avoid a situation where we up exposing the party and its leadership,” one of the MPs said.

The order follows a recent report by Indigenisation committee chairperson Justice Mayor Wadyajena calling on the Zimbabwe Republic Police, Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and the Auditor-General to investigate Zanu PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere over criminal abuse of office and misleading  Mugabe about a $50 million pledge made by Chiadzwa diamond firms towards the Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust.

Zanu PF Parliamentary chief whip Lovemore Matuke confirmed the gag.

“There is really nothing sinister about the directive because we have to protect the party’s interests and I am sure you are aware that even the opposition does that to ensure that MPs debate on party lines,” Matuke said.

“The Wadyajena report was based on the committee’s findings so it is about whether they established the facts. It was cleared by the Speaker, so I would not know if there are people who were not happy about it.

“But like I said, as a party, we have to whip our members into line to protect our interests and that is what was done when we met.”

The gag, Zanu PF insiders say, came after Mugabe this week complained bitterly about the party’s image being dented through reports presented by the MPs.

Comments (1)

this is simply saying the mps must not be held accountable. is that so?

taona - 20 November 2016

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