POLICE are yet to provide an update on their investigations regarding the death threats received by opposition MPs last month.
BY RCIHARD CHIDZA
At least five opposition lawmakers received threatening messages from an unknown number as President Robert Mugabe prepared to officially open the Third Session of the Eighth Parliament. Mugabe had been booed by mainly MDC-T MPs as he delivered his State of the Nation address in late August.
As fate would have it, Mugabe went on to embarrassingly present a wrong speech.
Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda referred questions to the police. “I am not the police spokesperson. Ask them,” Mudenda said curtly.
Asked if the legislature was not conducting its own investigation, Mudenda said Parliament respected the doctrine of separation of powers.
“Once the issue is in the hands of the police, Parliament will have to wait for the outcome of their investigation and for us it is about respecting the doctrine of separation of powers,” he said.
Repeated efforts to get comment from the police proved fruitless last night.
In the intervening period, Tafara-Mabvuku MDC-T legislator James Maridadi allegedly received a live bullet to add to the death message.
MDC-T chief whip Innocent Gonese who was among those threatened with death, seemed disinterested.
“We have not received any feedback from the police and we have not made any follow-up,” was all Gonese could say.
MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said the MDC-T was compiling a report to be handed over to the police and Parliament.
“As MDC-T, we will never accept a situation whereby our legislators are subjected to death threats and naked intimidation in an attempt to silence them. Our Members of Parliament are determined to fearlessly articulate the concerns of the people that they represent. If the Zanu PF regime thinks that we will be cowered into submission by the fascist and cowardly death threats made against our Members of Parliament, then they will be shocked with the intensity and regularity of the mass demonstrations that will be taking place soon,” he said.
Gutu added: “The Speaker of Parliament is the head of the legislature. In a truly functional democracy, the head of the legislature should have been at the forefront denouncing the death threats made against legislators. Any way, we all know that Zimbabwe has since degenerated into a virtual banana republic where the legislature is just a weak and powerless appendage of the executive arm of the State.”
While the MDC-T demanded that Mudenda investigates the issue when the reports emerged, the Speaker of the National Assembly requested that the affected MPs make reports to police.