Mwonzora says Parliament’s Privileges Committee was lazy- did not do its job properly


Full contribution:


Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Privileges Committee Investigating Cases of Alleged Misconduct by MDC Alliance Members of Parliament.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. MWONZORA: Thank you very much Madam President. I just have one observation.  We are being called to answer to the allegations after a judgment has been given. I read the verdict by the Committee and it finds everybody guilty….

Cellphone  rung.

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE:  Order, if I may remind Hon. Senators to switch off or put your cellphones on silent.

HON. SEN. MWONZORA:  There is a verdict that was given by the Committee which was headed by Mr. Samukange.  I take note that Mr. Samukange is a lawyer.  That verdict finds every person who is a member of the MDC guilty of the same offence.  Those who were there on that day and those who were not there on that day – it finds them all guilty.  It also finds those were punished by the party for sitting while others walked out – it finds them guilty as well.  There are four people like that in this august House.  There is Hon. Sen. Komichi, Hon. Sen. Dr. Mavetera, Hon. Sen. Makone and myself.  We were punished by the MDC led by Mr. Chamisa for disobeying him and staying in this House.

Now because this Committee was lazy, it finds everybody guilty and proposes to punish us the same.  That is number one. Number two; the Committee for the first time made a correct finding that the Hon. Members were coerced or forced by a superior authority to them to do what they did. It also found that there had not been any planning involving every Member of Parliament.  It found that there was no Caucus.  Now, where there is a superior authority which makes you do something, there is an automatic defence called obedience to superior authority.  So Mr. Samukange must have known as a lawyer that once he found that there was superior authority that gave people an order, that is a defence on its own but they said nothing about it.  By the way Madam President, when we are in this House, the laws of the country operate.  During the hearing, I brought to the attention of Hon. Samukange and his Committee that I had been punished already by my party and they said Hon. Sen. Mwonzora you can leave because there is no need for you to defend yourself. After this we find ourselves being found as guilty as those people given the chance to defend themselves.  That is gross injustice.

Anyway Madam President, the Members of the MDC you see here were internally subjected to this cohesion.  They did not sit on their laurels.  They rebelled against that leadership, removed it and placed in a new leadership that has attempted to change the politics of this country.  This new leadership has now said we must get rid of the politics of hate, politics of hunger, politics of acrimony, politics of polorisation and replace it with the politics of rational disputation  and tolerance.  These MPs have been exemplary in their debates.  They have now said what matters to us is not whether this issue came through ZANU PF or through MDC but what is important is what is in the best interest of the Zimbabwean people.  They have done that.  They have opposed where it is supposed to be opposed and supported where in their estimation, they were supposed to support.  What have our colleagues done across the table.  They have proceeded to ignore that and just want to punish including those punished already.

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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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