Police had to be called into the House of Assembly on Thursday to restrain Members of Parliament who were about to exchange blows during a constitutional outreach meeting for MPs when the issue of the death penalty came to the spotlight.
Chiredzi West MP Moses Mare (MDC-T) and Maramba-Pfungwe MP Washington Musvaire (Zanu PF) clashed in a no-holds-barred verbal showdown which nearly degenerated into a physical brawl.
Police stationed outside Parliament had to be called in to save the day.
They marched Mare out of the House and prevented another chamber boxing show reminiscent of the Roy Bennett-Patrick Chinamasa punch up of yesteryear.
MPs who have been spearheading the constitution-making process had their turn to air their views on Thursday and what came out of the MPs’ meeting was proof that Zimbabwe is still very much politically polarised.
Tempers flared when discussion came to the issue of the death penalty. An MP shouted that the House was “full of people who have blood on their hands”.
The remark sparked the altercation that led to Mare being ejected from the chamber.
“Some of you should be investigated because you have bloody hands,” Mare said, raising the anger of Musvaire.
As the MPs charged at each other someone in the House alerted the police outside and Mare was marched out of the Copac meeting. No arrests were made.
Although the turnout was rather low, MPs contributed their views on different talking points.
On the debate on what independent commissions should be set up, an MP suggested that a Sanctions Services Commission should be introduced.
Douglas Mwonzora, the co-chairperson representing MDC-T in Copac, told NewsDay that it was imperative for MPs to get a chance to say what they also wanted enshrined in the new Constitution of Zimbabwe.
“The three Chief Whips, Innocent Gonese (MDC-T), Joram Gumbo (Zanu PF), and Edward Mkhosi (MDC-M) decided that Members of Parliament should air their views on the constitution-making process,” said Mwonzora.
“That is why MPs were invited to make their contributions.”
MPs and senators were team leaders during the just–ended constitution outreach programmes and did not have a chance to contribute their views on the new constitution.
At a Copac media briefing last month, co-chairperson Munyaradzi Mangwana (Zanu PF) told journalists that almost a million Zimbabweans had contributed their views to the new constitution.