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Zanu-PF MPs' Dabengwa rebuff ignites anger

by Staff reporter
30 May 2019 at 07:53hrs | Views
OPPOSITION political parties, war veterans and civic society organisations yesterday rapped Zanu-PF legislators for refusing to observe a minute of silence in honour of the late Zipra intelligence supremo and opposition Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa, with some describing him as a sellout.

Dabengwa died last week on Thursday in Nairobi, Kenya, while in transit to Zimbabwe from India where he had gone to seek treatment.

The Zanu-PF politburo declared him a national hero, but his family rebuffed government overtures to take charge of the funeral proceedings to honour his dying wish to be buried at the family shrine in Ntabazinduna, Matabeleland North.

However, on Tuesday Zanu-PF MPs refused to observe a minute of silence in honour of the late national hero, following a request by MDC chief whip Prosper Mutseyami.

Opposition and independent MPs stood up to observe the minute of silence, but Zanu-PF legislators remained seated.

Zapu spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa said Zanu-PF legislators' conduct was consistent with an ideology that is premised on division, tribalism and hatred.

"They held a moment of silence for Oliver Mtukudzi (a musician) yet refuse to honour the man who made it possible for them to even occupy that place in the first place. They, however, did not surprise us because we know they are simply following their ideology that is premised on division, tribalism, corruption inequality and outright hatred," Maphosa said.

"They hate DD for not being of their ethnic extraction."

Habakkuk Trust chief executive Dumisani Nkomo said it's an insult to the whole concept of heroism when the ruling party disregards the heroism of a man who personified heroism.
MDC spokesperson Jacob Mafume said Zanu-PF MPs' actions were petty and disastrous.

"That people can persecute a person in his death, (when) death has no party affiliation (is shocking). Being in Zanu-PF is not a sign of purity or heroism," Mafume said.

Former Bulilima East MP Norman Mpofu (MDC) said any person of average intelligence and some knowledge about history of the liberation struggle and post-independent Zimbabwe would honour Dabengwa.

"I mean everyone. (former President) Robert Mugabe will, let alone (President) Emmerson Mnangagwa. If they were still alive Josiah Tongogara, Joshua Nkomo, Vitalis Zvinavashe, I mean all liberation luminaries, would honour Dabengwa. The man gave his all to liberate this country. He even lost his mother who was shot and killed by the whites for being a mother of Dumiso," Mpofu said.

"Who will not honour such a man? Who will not honour such a son of the soil? I will call such an MP a fool and victim of ignorance. Besides, Dumiso Dabengwa was a former Member of Parliament, a minister of a Zanu-PF government, therefore, if they can't acknowledge the towering role he played to liberate this country, they should respect the fact that he was once an MP like them more so of their party.

"If indeed they refused, their superiors must call them to order, otherwise they are embarrassing Zanu-PF. They owe Dabengwa respect," he added.

Church and Civic Society Forum national coordinator Abigail Mupambi said: "DD was declared a national hero because of his unquestionable contribution and commitment to national development both in the pre and post-independence era. The very same Zanu-PF government saw it fit to declare him a hero, to then have some Zanu-PF MPs deciding not to honour him is primitive on the very part of those MPs.

Rural Community Empowerment Trust Lupane coordinator Vumani Ndlovu said people are used to the whipping system in Parliament whereby the MPs follow the party position on certain issues and the MPs' actions are proof that "Mnangagwa and his cabal are not sincere in conferring Dabengwa with a hero status". Dabengwa will be buried in Ntabazinduna on Saturday and Zipra and Zapu have organised a mass memorial for him at White City Stadium in Bulawayo tomorrow.

Source - newsday