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MPs must live exemplary lives

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When the country’s lawmakers get accused of crimes like rape, of even children, it becomes a matter of grave concern and the nation has reason to get alarmed.

Our hope is that Honourable Franco Ndambakuwa is innocent and the allegations are all a big mistake.

The Member of Parliament for Magunje has been arrested and accused of raping one of his constituent’s daughters, a 15-year-old girl, and media reports say 10 other women (or girls) are queuing up with the same complaints against the MP.

Until the courts tell us the truth of what happened, it will be difficult for Zimbabweans to believe someone they have entrusted with formulating the country’s laws and in whose custody the safety of his constituents and Zimbabweans at large are vested, could have done this.

MPs are viewed with respect and they are the first port of call for troubled citizens who have every reason to expect and obtain solutions from them.

They are the persons who should be read about in the Press as having taken action to discipline wayward characters in their constituencies and not themselves read about accused of the same dastardly deeds.

The same MP had his name dragged in another case in which an under-age girl was impregnated and later committed suicide.

The girl claimed the MP for her area, Ndambakuwa, was responsible for her pregnancy and also that she had been forced to take her life because of stress.

Whether or not the MP is guilty of these crimes, the fact of the matter which concerns citizens of this country is that MPs must not be seen to be implicated in such issues.

They must live exemplary lives, unblemished especially by allegations of rape of minors or married women or assaulting men whose wives they are accused of stealing.

As we have already said, it is our sincere hope this is all untrue.

But if the MP is indeed involved, the laws of the land, which he participates in crafting, should deal with him accordingly.

The nation looks up to its representatives like MPs who should be the protectors of the rights of people in their constituencies regardless of their political affiliation.

The MPs also carry their political parties’ flags and an MP that is accused of crimes so heinous as murder or rape damages not just their personal political careers but also their parties.

As a representative of his or her political party in a constituency, an MP determines the chances of that party’s future in their area and parties should take stock of their members’ behaviour in the areas that they come from.

There are misdemeanours that embarrass the party name or put it into disrepute, but accusations of rape or other such crimes kill the party’s chances of ever being accepted in that constituency again.

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