SOME war veterans on Wednesday tried to stop a public hearing on the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Bill at Mutare Civic Centre, saying the event could not go ahead on the same day two national heroines, Victoria Chitepo and Vivian Mwashita, were being buried in Harare.
BY OWN CORRESPONDENT
Members of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and those of the Thematic Committee on Human Rights, led by Senator Damien Mumvuri, looked stunned by the demands of the war vets.
The ex-fighters also demanded that public hearings should be opened with the singing of the national anthem instead of prayers.
“You should cancel this meeting, as we are burying two heroines today. Come another day. You cannot go ahead with your hearings,” one of the war veterans, who claimed he was at the Civic Centre after failing to get transport to Harare to attend the burial the National Heroes Acre, said.
Another war vet chipped in: “You are in Manicaland, you should do what people here want, not what you do in Parliament. We have to start with the national anthem otherwise there will be no meeting.”
However Mumvuri turned down their demands.
“This is an extension of Parliament and we will follow parliamentary procedures. While I hear your concerns, we cannot divert from Parliament rules and we will start with a prayer as we do in Parliament,” he said.
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Some of the participants told the legislators that they had not seen or read the Bill, hence, it was not proper for them to be asked to input into the proposed legislation. Mutare Central MP Innocent Gonese (MDC-T) had to summarise the Bill for the residents.