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Chamisa's MPs disrupt Parliamentary committee

by Staff reporter
06 Dec 2019 at 07:09hrs | Views
MDC-Alliance legislators yesterday disrupted a Parliamentary committee sitting, protesting that committee chairperson Mr Gabbuza Joel Gabuza (Binga South) from the opposition party should be allowed to preside over proceedings despite coming late. An acting chairperson had already been elected in terms of the rules.

The disruption resulted in the cancellation of a meeting in which Independent Power Producers (IPPs) had been invited to give evidence before the Portfolio Committee on Energy and Power Development on why they had not started generating electricity despite having been licensed several years back.

The commotion occurred in full view of over 30 witnesses who were ready to give evidence.

Some of the witnesses had travelled from as far as Bulawayo, Victoria Falls and Mutare, and were left counting the losses they incurred in transport, accommodation and meals, among other costs.

Legislators from the MDC-Alliance like Marondera Central MP, Mr Caston Matewu, and Epworth MP, Mr Earthrage Kureva, came into the meeting to protest and became disorderly despite not being members of the Energy and Power Development Committee.

Trouble started after the committee sat and elected Bikita South legislator Joseph Musakwa (Zanu-PF) to chair the meeting in the absence of Binga South MP, Mr Gabuza. In an interview after the aborted meeting, Musakwa castigated MDC-Alliance lawmakers for failing to respect the rules of Parliament.

"The meeting started well. As per Parliament Standing Rules and Orders, if the Chair is late, the committee is mandated to choose an acting chair. So Honourable Gabuza was not there, and they nominated me and I was seconded to chair. We had gone on over four agenda items and when we were on the fifth one, when we were about to start hearing evidence, that is when members of the opposition came and three of them started disrupting it.

"They said Hon Gabuza must chair the meeting of which according to rules, you cannot chair a meeting that is already in progress.

''Members from the opposition who equally came late and some of whom were not even members of our committee thought we had prevented the chair, but it was different; he was not in Parliament when we started," said Musakwa.

Norton Member of Parliament Mr Temba Mliswa slammed the MDC-Alliance, saying some of the issues they were raising like the legitimacy of President Mnangagwa were settled by the Constitutional Court.

"This does not need an independent inquiry. It is a constitutional issue, the President is part of Parliament, this must be understood. Parliament serves national interests.

''The Constitutional Court dealt with the matter and if there are issues, you have to resolve them outside the House. This cannot be a political war zone. The politics happens during elections. The Speaker will obviously deal with it accordingly," said Mr Mliswa.

Mr Gabuza admitted that he arrived late for the meeting.

Source - the herald