Itai Dzamara abduction up for debate in Parliament on Tuesday


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The case of abducted journalist-cum-activist Itai Dzamara will come up for debate on Tuesday after the Movement for Democratic Change-Tsvangirai faction failed to push it through as a “matter of urgent public importance” on Thursday.

Dzamara was allegedly abducted on Monday and has not been heard of since.

Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front activist Energy Mutodi, however, claims on his facebook page that Dzamara faked his abduction and is “holed” in a hotel in Selebi Phikwe in Botswana.

He claims Dzamara is being held hostage by a German national Dirk Frey.

MDC-T legislators walked out of Parliament on Thursday after the motion to debate Dzamara’s case was foiled.

 

Debate:

 

MOTION

LEAVE TO MOVE ADJOURNMENT ON DEFINITE MATTER OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE

MR. CHAMISA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker. I am very alive to the requirements in terms of our Standing Orders that in terms of Standing Order No. 30 (1), as read together with Standing Order No. 38 (1). Any Member of Parliament is allowed to move for the adjournment of the House for purposes of discussing any matter of Urgent Public Importance.

I wish, Mr. Speaker, as I indicated yesterday when I approached the Chair, that I am going to move for the adjournment of the House on a very important matter of urgent public importance as regards the fundamental rights of persons in terms of Section 49 as well as Section 52 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. This is as regards and incidental to the Right of liberty and security of persons in Zimbabwe in the context of matters relating to the disappearance, abduction or arrest of a pro-democracy activist and citizen of Zimbabwe. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Thank you Mr. Speaker.

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order hon. members. The Chair appreciates your concern hon. Member but if you would recall, yesterday the minister responded extensively to the same matter. So, for now, we cannot debate it until further notice. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

MR. GONESE: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Thank you very much Mr. Speaker. Hon. Speaker, with due respect, the rules of this august House as dictated by the Standing Orders of this august House are very clear and in that regard, the only requirement is whether the matter is the one which is contemplated in terms of the rules. In terms of rules of parliamentary procedure, the only requirement is whether the matter is one of urgent public importance. When we look at matters of human security, security of a person, the liberty of the individuals, all those are matters which are not just spelt in our Constitution but are also part of the International Constitutional Order.

If you look at the international covenant considering political rights, this is a universal declaration of human rights. If you look at the International Bill of Rights which includes the universal declaration of human rights, the International Covenant, civil and political rights, it is very clear that issues of security, issues of security of the person, issues of the liberty of the individual are of paramount importance and obviously Mr. Speaker, the matter which has been raised by the Hon. member is a matter which is contemplated by the rules, by the Standing Orders. As long as it is a matter which is contemplated by the Standing Orders, it is immaterial as to whether a question was asked or was not asked because what the adjournment of the House entails is a debate by hon. members who represent the people of Zimbabwe in this august House to debate that matter because the purpose of the adjournment of the House is for debate to take place and that is the reason why in terms of this Standing Order, no notice has to be given and the matter can be debated on the same day as long as more than 25 members stand in their place in support of the motion – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order please.

MR. GONESE: All I am saying is that in terms of the Orders…-[HON MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – so I am saying this is a matter….

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, can you please take your seat. Order, I will send someone out very soon.

MR. HOLDER: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE ACTING SPEAKER: What is your point of order?

MR. HOLDER: My point of order Mr. Speaker is that the opposition needs to withdraw that statement because these State agents were alleged to have kidnapped and killed somebody and yet they are jeopardising the investigations, which we cannot debate.

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, you have read the Standing Orders but it is at the discretion of the Chair. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – Order hon. members. The issue has to be deferred until Tuesday, 17th March, 2015. In terms of the Standing Orders, this matter has been brought to me a bit late. So I have to consider it before I say the House proceeds to debate it. In this case, I have said the debate will continue on Tuesday next week.

MR. CHAMISA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker.

THE ACTING SPEAKER: I thought we had agreed Hon. Chamisa.

MR. CHAMISA: Sorry Hon. Speaker Sir. It is with a heavy heart that I just want to place before this Parliament that when we bring such motions, we really want to pay due regard to the tax payer’s money and time. This Parliament is charged with a sovereign right to superintend over national issues. This is a very important national issue. If you want to say it has to be moved to next Tuesday, it defeats the urgency because the urgency is supposed to be done today. In any case, it does not disrupt our business today Hon. Speaker Sir. It will take the business at 5.15 pm meaning, to say that we are not going to cause any undue hardship to the smooth flow and progress of our debate.

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Resume your seat Hon. Chamisa. I said this matter was brought to the Speaker a bit late. The Speaker has to consider it. I have already made a ruling regarding the matter and my ruling stands – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

DR. J.M. GUMBO: Mr. Speaker Sir, we had organised for the introduction of motion number 6 but apparently – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –

Opposition members broke into song, ‘Dzamara, Dzamara Mai Mwana’.

Mr. Chibaya having been conducting MDC hon. members into singing was requested by the Acting Speaker to leave the Chamber upon which all MDC hon. members followed in solidarity.

(483 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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