KUWADZANA East MP Nelson Chamisa (MDC-T) yesterday pleaded with President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Parliament to intervene and stop the escalation of political violence in the country.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
The opposition MP raised the issue as a point of privilege before the question-and-answer session in the National Assembly.
He asked the Speaker of the National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda, to act following the recent attack on Epworth legislator, Zalerah Makari (Zanu PF) and National People’s Party leader, Joice Mujuru.
“I want to alert the House that Parliament needs to do something on the issue of vulnerability of MPs pertaining to violent attacks on MPs, and I have checked with the police and noted that there was an attack on Epworth MP Zalerah Makari by known people, and the motive is unknown,” Chamisa said.
“I am saying this because we are seeing an escalation of attacks on MPs and citizens, particularly as we approach general elections, yet we do not want elections to be tainted by violence and instability, and this issue must be taken to the President so that his call for peaceful elections is taken seriously.”
In an unrelated matter, Local Government minister July Moyo was put under the spotlight after opposition MPs demanded that traditional leaders be barred from participating in Zanu PF activities.
But Moyo dodged the issue, saying he had no power to discipline chiefs.
“Disciplinary procedures for chiefs are the responsibility of the national association of chiefs and this is provided for in the Constitution, which does not allow me to discipline chiefs,” he said.
This did not go down well with opposition MPs, with Harare Central legislator, Murisi Zwizwai (MDC-T) reminding the minister that he was obliged to act as traditional leaders were under his ministry.
“So we need to do things for the good of the country, and that is why we need you to respond on the issue of partisan chiefs. When you gave them vehicles, they were even sloganeering,” he charged.
Moyo responded: “When we met the chiefs in Midlands, it was not at a Zanu PF building, but a building for the Midlands Development Association. Slogans are not forced on any person. An individual decides on their own to chant slogans. We don’t force anyone to chant slogans. If you are not happy about chiefs, you can take the matter to the Chiefs’ Council and the national association of chiefs.”
Glen Norah MP, Webster Maondera (MDC-T) said Moyo was deliberately dodging the question, asking him to then explain why his ministry has a director for chiefs’ welfare if he was not responsible for traditional leaders.
Mudenda then intervened and referred legislators to section 287 of the Constitution, which specifies the integrity and ethics committee of the Council of Chiefs, and 287(c), which mandates the committee to deal with complaints raised against traditional leaders.