Mabvuku-Tafara Member of Parliament James Maridadi last week said a country that could not protect its people was not a country at all.
Speaking during the debate on the trafficking of women to Kuwait, Maridadi said Zimbabwe could not even raise $50 000 to bail out 21 girls who were being held as slaves in Kuwait. The amount was raised by an individual.
Maridadi also blasted Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi for being insensitive to the plight of the Zimbabwe women.
“When the Hon. Speaker went to Kuwait, he heard about the girls in Kuwait and he tried to engage the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The Minister of Foreign Affairs did not even come to the phone to talk to the Speaker,” Maridadi said.
“The money that was supposed to repatriate the girls was not available. This later came from an individual. This means the government could not even get $50 000 to repatriate the girls back to Zimbabwe. That is not a good scenario.
“A point of order may be raised but that is bad. A country that is not able to protect its citizens is not a country. It was supposed to be realised that there are 21 girls who are in slavery and the Speaker of Parliament is requesting.
“If you look at the hierarchy of Zimbabwe, there is the President and the Vice President. From the Vice President there is the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Chief Justice. However, the Speaker, the second person in the Zimbabwean hierarchy phones the Minister of Foreign Affairs to discuss the issue and he cannot attend to the call. What is the Minister of Foreign Affairs doing if he cannot attend to the call?”
He said this behaviour was appalling especially coming from an unelected person.
“For one to be a Speaker of National Assembly, he or she has to have a constituency and elected by the people. Parliamentarians also vote for the Speaker. It means the Speaker has a more direct contact with the people than anyone else.
“However, the Minister of Foreign Affairs refuses to address the issues raised by the Speaker. As a Minister, you do not respect the Speaker and you were not even elected by the people but a proportional representative Member.”
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