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Mliswa faces contempt of Parliament charges

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HURUNGWE West legislator Temba Mliswa (Zanu PF) faces contempt of Parliament charges for claiming that businessman Billy Rautenbach bribed members of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment chaired by Justice Mayor Wadyajena (Zanu PF Gokwe-Nembudziya).

VENERANDA LANGA

Wadyajena yesterday asked the Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda to make a ruling on whether Mliswa’s remarks constituted contempt of Parliament.

According to arguments brought before the House by Wadyajena, Mliswa was quoted in The Herald of April 3 2014 saying: “Billy Rautenbach had also got into Parliament and already had corrupted some MPs from the Indigenisation committee.”

“You were there when that whole committee was held of indigenisation, there were MPs who were paid to heckle the chairman and even asked the chairman to stand up and can’t you see that? But some of us are not moved by that (sic),” Mliswa was quoted saying.

“There were no noises because MPs had been paid to say what they needed to say. There are MPs who are in Billy Rautenbach’s constituency who had approached me that can we mediate between me and Billy and I said no (sic).”

Wadyajena said members of his committee took exception to the allegations which he described as divisive.

He said it was now necessary for Mliswa to substantiate the allegations by furnishing Parliament with evidence which informed the alleged statements, adding if he was unable to do so there could be a prima facie breach of Parliamentary privileges on his part.

Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media, Information and Broadcasting Services chaired by Umzingwane MP William Dhewa (Zanu PF) yesterday recommended urgent alignment of media laws with the new Constitution.

“Failure to align laws may result in citizens being arrested on provisions that are inconsistent with the new Constitution which might result in media stakeholders engaging in litigation,” Dhewa said.

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