Zimbabwe white legislator storms out of Parliament -says he is disgusted with racism


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The Member of Parliament for Harare North, Allan Markham, today stormed out of Parliament after Joseph Chinotimba referred to him as white, saying he is disgusted by the racism from both the ruling party and his own opposition party.

The racist remarks arose when Chinotimba interjected that the opposition was opting for a white candidate in the forthcoming elections instead of a black one.

Markham said he was sick and tired of being called white because he was not white by choice.

Chinotimba interjected while Chalton Hwende was speaking, saying: ”Munoda kutora Markham who is white muchisiya Biti who is a black man.”

Markham responded: “I consider that statement totally racial. You as the Speaker had no intention of calling the man to order. In this inflammatory position that we are in now, it is quite clear to me that there is no reconciliation from the Hon. Member and the party he represents. 

“Unfortunately, he is not the first to refer to me because of my colour. I was given my skin by my parents as they were and yours. It is not that I selected it. One can almost say the God or whoever your God is gave it to you. I am sick and tired of being referred to as white.

“In the Constitution, it states categorically that you cannot separate us by religion, sex, gender, you name it and yet you tolerate that. Mr. Speaker.  I would like to announce to this House that I am absolutely disgusted by the racism that comes from that side and is also endemic in my own. I take leave of this House. Good afternoon.”

And he walked out.

Markham and his colleague, Tendai Biti, are vying for the Harare East seat after Harare North was disbanded.

Biti is the current legislator for Harare East. He has described those supporting Markham’s candidacy for Harare East as “snakes” because they are supporting “vasina mabvi”, a term used to describe whites in colonial times because they wore trousers and therefore appeared to have no knees. 

Below is part of the debate that led to the walkout:

THE ACTING SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): Order, order! (1)      It is declared that in respect of Statutory Instrument 14 of 2022, which was published in the Gazette dated 19th August, 2022, the respondent failed to fulfill its constitutional obligation under Section 152 of the Constitution.

(2)     The respondent is ordered to comply with the constitutional obligation under Section 152 of the Constitution by not later than close of business on the 16th June, 2023.

(3)     There shall be no order as to cause reasons for the order to follow in due course. By Order of the Court.

HON. MARKHAM: On a point of clarity Mr. Speaker.

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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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