MPs decry marginalisation of provinces

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THE National Assembly on Tuesday debated a motion on regional inequalities, with mover of the motion, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga bringing handcuffs to illustrate marginalisation.

By Veneranda Langa

The MDC legislator, however, introduced the motion without the handcuffs after Parliament security personnel barred her from taking them into the House.

She alleged that debt collectors for big companies and organisations were mostly law firms from Mashonaland, with legal practitioners from other regions like Matabeleland being snubbed.

“I had brought handcuffs, but they were taken away by security at the gate. But with those handcuffs, I would have indicated why this motion is critical, but my words will still be honourable,” Misihairabwi-Mushonga said.

“It is unfortunate that we have taken a stance in this country that a particular group is not allowed to say
anything about marginalisation without being labelled a tribalist, yet section 17 and 18 of the Constitution speaks against discrimination of regions and women”

Misihairabwi-Mushonga said a debt collection company called Well Cash from Mashonaland was all over the country collecting debts on behalf of councils and hospitals like Mpilo in Bulawayo, as if other provinces did not have qualified lawyers to do debt collection.

“Does it mean that law firms that do not have Shona names have no capacity to be taken as debt collectors? she asked.

“These are examples of issues around tenders, where you cannot tell me that there is no capacity of law firms owned by women or regions that are not Mashonaland to do the job.”

Seconder of the motion, Tabitha Khumalo (Bulawayo East), said marginalisation of people from some regions was serious to the extent that people from regions other than Mashonaland were treated as second-class citizens.

Khumalo claimed that most bank managers in Bulawayo are from Mashonaland, adding that the Ndebeles are perceived to be lazy, uneducated and people that cross the Limpopo to South Africa in search of jobs.

Kadoma Central MP, Fani Phiri (Zanu PF) said people considered aliens of Malawian and Zambian origin were marginalised to the extent that cartoon characters like Zuze are created to spread perceptions that they are stupid.

Phiri said there was marginalisation of cities such as Kadoma, which lags behind in terms of growth.

Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko said there was no Zimbabwean better than the other, adding issues of tribalism were killing the country.

“There is no province that is less important than another and that is why President Robert Mugabe said the Gukurahundi era was a moment of madness and must never be repeated. Let us concentrate on ourselves as Zimbabweans because there is no law that says a particular tribe is better than the other,” he said.

Musikavanhu MP Prosper Mutseyami (MDC-T) said marginalisation of some tribes was rife with the use of some native languages not encouraged.

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