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This drama last week triggered the re-sitting of the House last Friday. The National Assembly re-sit came about because of a early adjourned of the previous day’s proceedings when MDC ALLIANCE MPs walked out instantly causing a parliamentary quorum crisis at the very time the House was about to debate two crucial Bills, namely the Tripartite Negotiating Forum Bill and Companies and Other Entities Bill.
Zimbabwe’s Parliament which in general does not sit on Fridays, had to re-convene due to a quorum-induced adjournment last Thursday when the MDC Alliance MPs walked out. This drama cost Zimbabwe’s taxpayers massively to the tune of US$100,000 in sitting allowances, accommodation, fuel, meals, printing of stationary and other associated costs of that day’s proceedings.
To give an indication of the scenario’s events, Zimbabwe’s Parliament has total of 270 MPs , who each receive US$75 sitting allowance and a minimum average of US$300 in accommodation allaowance.
It therefore became a true circus scenario, when the MDC-Alliance Zengeza West legislator Job Sikhala rose on a point of order to proudly notify the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Advocate Jacob Mudenda, that there was no quorum in the House of parliament, and then he, along with fellow legislators walked out of parliament as the bells rang throughout parliament to invite other legislators who were outside to come in and make up the minimum required number or quorum for parliamentary proceedings to be convened..
The speaker of parliament, Adv Mudenda, later called upon the MDCAlliance MPs to take the Zimbabwe House of parliament seriously and he stated: “Honourable Sikhala, I thought you were hungry for debate. Call your colleagues back.“Hon (Tabitha) Khumalo, you have demonstrated good example, but the head of train without a trailer or trailers cannot move, you tried, but can we send a word that in the national interest and respecting the tax payers’ money, we need to do business as much as we can so that we cover up in the legislative agenda. I would urge you as the national chair of the main opposition party to ensure that next week when we come back, we have to cover what should have been covered today plus much more which will be presented to us by the Leader of Government business so that we are within the time lines of finishing the legislative agenda during this session. It is very important,” said Adv Mudenda.
The Zanu-PF Chief Whip Obedingwa Mguni said that the MDC-Alliance legislators walking was simply designed to scuttle sitting of Parliament. “They walked out trying to sabotage the quorum. They did not want the Bills before Parliament which were pertinent. We had to re-sit the following day and obviously costing taxpayers in accommodation, meals, and sitting allowances among other costs,” said Cde Mguni.
“It is not only a waste of resources, but they would be short-changing constituencies as MPs will now have to spend more time in Parliament unnecessarily.”
The MDC-Alliance were not short of justification for this drama in which the MDC Alliance clearly sabotaged the institution of Parliament as the MDC Alliance Chief Whip Prosper Mutseyami said their members had dashed out of Parliament to attend funerals of MDC party activists who died in a road accident in Kwekwe. which left Tsvangirai’s daughter, the Glen View South legislator, Mrs Vimbai Tsvangirai-Java hospitalised due to injuries sustained in the road accident.
www.newzimbabwevision.com says that the people’s representatives need to respect the institution of Parliament, put the people’s interests first and be the people’s voice in parliament if we are to see any progress. Lest you forget, it is similar short term vision which previously in 2014, led to Tsvangirai withdrawing 18 MDC-T MPs from both the National Assembly and Senate who were aligned to the former secretary general Tendai Biti’s Renewal Team, arguing that they were elected in 2013 on the MDC-T party ticket.
Initially , in early 2014, the MDC-T failed in its attempt to recall the MDC T parliamentarians after Tendai Biti then of the Renewal Team wrote to the Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda barring any withdrawal of members.
Jacob Mudenda who is not new to the MDC shenanigans, at that time in 2014, referred the case to the courts.
The MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said the 18 MDC T legislators, 15 from the National Assembly and three from the Senate, ceased to be MDC-T members and that their seats must be declared vacant.
The MDC T resolution to recall the 18 MDC T legislators, was passed at the just-ended MDC-T’s fourth elective congress and the new secretary general Mr Douglas Mwonzora wrote to the Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda and to the President of Senate Cde Ednah Madzongwe as required by law to state the MDC T position.
We all know what followed, as Zanu pf then held the majority in parliament and now could chop and change whatever they wanted implemented because they held the majority in parliament after MDC T withdrew the 18 legislators. Clearly, a battle amongst those elected by the people to represent them in parliament on issues directly affecting their constituencies such as accountability, equality, human rights, good governance, democracy, housing, electricity, education, employment, transport, roads, water and other issues directly affecting the lives of the ordinary people, now became a circus and the people lost their voice in parliament as Zanu pf now held the majority thereafter as they still do at present and thats why the opposition are a simple laughing stock to Zimbabwe’s presidium. Zanu pf are not a people’s favourite, but they are slowly appearing to be more organised than Zimbabwe’s opposition… DISCUSS! By Sibusiso Ngwenya
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