Zim Parliament farce worsening

HARARE - Parliamentary proceedings descended into yet another farce yesterday when Cabinet ministers refused to answer questions from MDC legislators to protest the opposition’s continued refusal to acknowledge President Emmerson Mnangagwa as the legitimate leader of the country.

It eventually took the intervention of the acting speaker of the National Assembly to end the anarchy and for the ministers to fulfil their parliamentary obligations — after they had disrupted the session for more than 20 minutes.

MDC MPs, just like their leader Nelson Chamisa — have refused to recognise Mnangagwa as the winner of the hotly-disputed July 30 presidential election — despite the Constitutional Court upholding the Zanu PF leader’s victory.

The Cabinet ministers, led by the leader of government business in the house, Ziyambi Ziyambi, flatly refused to respond to opposition legislators’ questions until they recognised Mnangagwa.

Ziyambi said the fact that ministers were appointed by the president meant that the MDC legislators could not ask them questions if they refused to recognise him.

“We will not accept a situation where we continue to have hypocrites in this house who want us to answer their questions ... So, for that reason we are unable to answer their questions,” he said.

Ziyambi was responding to calls from MDC legislators led by Mutare Central MP, Innocent Gonese, to have ministers who miss the House’s questions and answer session to be charged with contempt of Parliament.

“This has been happening for a long time, but no action has been taken and we wonder what is stopping Parliament from doing what it should,” Gonese complained.

The MDC legislators also argued that while they did not recognise Mnangagwa, they had an obligation to play an oversight role on ministers as duly elected representatives.

“I am happy that we can now proceed because the other side has agreed to do so in the name of progress, and that they now recognise the government of the day,” Ziyambi said rather mockingly, after the acting speaker had intervened in the chaos.

Last month, there was also pandemonium in Parliament after National Assembly Speaker Jacob Mudenda ejected MDC MPs from the House for refusing to stand up in honour of Mnangagwa.

Mnangagwa had turned up for the national budget presentation by Finance minister Mthuli Ncube.

While Zanu PF MPs stood up in unison when Mnangagwa made his way into the legislative assembly, the MDC legislators remained seated — prompting Mudenda to call in the police to clear them out.

Comments (5)

IF YOU REFUSE TO ANSWER QUESTIONS THEN WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN PARLIAMENT...THE PARLIAMENT IS THERE FOR YOU TO REPRESENT US AS ZIMBABWEANS NOT TO PLAY PARTY POLITICS

MASTER BLASTER - 6 December 2018

"Master Blaster" this is two way traffic. The MD Alliance have refused to acknowledge in parliament that President ED Mnangagwa is the President of Zimbabwe, how then can they want to field questions to ministers appointed by the head of government whom they do not recognise? Both MDC Alliance and Zanu PF legislators should be more serious with parliamentary business. Partisan politics should not derail our nation's rebuilding

Daniel 5 - 7 December 2018

That ministers were appointed by ED does not make them ED or assume ED's status. MPs were voted by the masses to do Parliament business which is for the masses not for ED. In short ED and Parliament are separate entities, MDC MPs have chosen to follow Parliament dictates and protest ED's legitimacy by not saluting him nothing amiss.

Sinyo - 7 December 2018

@ Daniel if people stand up or not stand for you will that change your position as leader? We dwell on trivial issues while the country is on fire. Standing for ED will not bring forex, fuel, drugs, reduce prices etc. nxaaaa

Lodza - 7 December 2018

Hypocrisy at it best case!!! Izvezvi vanoda mota dzine signature yemunhu wavanoti haasi president. Speaker of the parliament appointed by the person who they say he lacks legitimacy. All the benefits they are receiving are under ED's authority but they don't recognize him. Stupid people!!! Why are they working in the government of illegitimate leader. They must continue ignore the fools until they woke up from where ever they are sleeping and they mustn't get paid

Chamboko - 7 December 2018

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