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Roy Bennett's speech in Parliament in defence of the alleged breach
Parliament of Zimbabwe
the Voting record on Hon. Roy Bennett's speech and sentence
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THE ALLEGED BREACH BY HON. R. L. BENNETT
read: Resumption of debate on motion on the report of the Privileges
Committee on alleged breach of privilege by Hon. Bennett.
Mr. Speaker, with the leave of the House and with your permission
yesterday, on the need to consult my legal advisors on pending matters,
I took that opportunity. Unfortunately this morning, I was detained
by Police at Harare International Airport and have been in Police
Custody the whole day and am just coming from there now. I was going
to Johannesburg International Airport where I had organised a meeting
at the Intercontinental Hotel with my legal advisors – [HON. MEMBERS:
In view of the
serious allegations of the serious consequences I was facing yesterday,
I realised that I had no time to settle these matters. Therefore,
I had to have urgent consultation for legal advice to try to cover
some of the questions of the copy that was laid before you. I stand
before you as a Zimbabwean and an African. (HON MEMBERS: inaudible
I am extremely sorry for any disrespect or for any disturbance I
have caused in this Parliament. I am sorry to you Hon. Speaker and
I am sorry to you Hon. Chinamasa- [MR. CHINAMASA: Why didn’t you
Mr. Speaker, I would like to explain that event and move back in
time. I won the Coffee Grower of the Year Award of the three years
of farming at Charleswood Farm. At the height of my time, I employed
more than two thousand people at my farm. I have contributed back
to my community. When I arrived there I went to my traditional leaders
as I had been brought up, I went to the chiefs and said Madzimambo
ndauya ndiri munhu ari kubva kuKaroi, ndiri kutsvaga nzvimbo yekugara.
When I was given a farm, I continued to work with the communities
In 1999 when
that community approached me to stand for them, I was a ZANU PF
member to help them bring development in their area, I agreed. I
have nothing against ZANU PF and I have nothing against the Government.
I wanted to assist this Government but this political party did
not accept me. They did not want me. They chased me.
The people pushed
me forward to a party where there is no racism, where there is a
free Zimbabwe. So from that day to this day from being the darling
of ZANU PF, from being escorted by CIOs and police at every political
meeting, I started being arrested. I do not want to go into what
I have suffered in the last three years. I do not know what I have
done to anybody on that side. Why do you hate me so much? What have
I done? One day I pray to God you will never be subjected to the
experience I have gone through. I hope you never will never experience
the pain I have experienced. I hope for all your racial hatred,
I forgive you, I have love. I do not have hatred, I only have love.
I have love for my fellow Zimbabweans and I have love for my country
and the development of my country.
I am absolutely
shattered and ashamed to see what has happened to this country ever
since the formation of MDC and what lengths you have gone to, to
destroy a nation and it is the people that want you to serve them.
Mr. Speaker, with your permission, I would please like to read a
summation of my legal answer.
I will grant you the permission to proceed.
The other story which is totally untrue and unfounded – "Hon.
Bennett did not show any remorse and even attempt to apologise both
the Speaker and Hon. Chinamasa. Your Committee was not favoured
with a reasonable excuse for that failure. Hon. Bennett held himself
up as a hero of the event from the press statement he made thereafter
and even from his testimony to your Committee." I have not
seen a copy of this press statement and where was this press statement
given? It was never produced as evidence to your Committee. It certainly
appeared in hell. Where have I ever claimed to be a hero? I have
always said I am embarrassed. I have never been proud of that. To
this day, I am not proud of that.
SUBMISSION": Here Hon Bennett read out the Document presented
to the Parliamentary Privileges Committee prepared by his Counsel,
Advocate Eric Matinenga.)
It is submitted
Before I proceed,
Hon. Chinamasa remarked why I did not apologise before the Speaker.
I came to see you in your office and I went to see the Vice President
on the day that this occurred and we viewed that tape again to see
the height of vitriol coming from Hon. Chinamasa’s mouth to say
I will never set my foot at Charleswood Estate againI
will go back to Parliamentary Report. There are two points which
again state the issue. Hon. Mangwana said he was invited by your
Committee to view the video clip of a speech by His Excellency the
President where he alleged the President incited the people to arrest
Bennett and his family. He had a very clear view of that video which
was broadcast on ZTV. It said vanaBennett nanaDeKlerk should
not have anything in this country and everything that they have
should be taken. What have I ever done to the President?
own has been taken. When I moved from Chimanimani to live in Ruwa,
the same thing happened, the army came, they beat the people and
they looted the homestead.
all the property from the farm. Two of my workers have been killed.
The perpetrators walk free. There has been no investigation. Most
of my female workers have been raped and their homes burnt. What
course of justice have I had? I have been to the courts. The court
granted me six court orders in my favour, of which Hon. Minister
of Justice, sits in this House on top of those court orders and
says Bennett will never set foot on his farm again, when these court
orders granted me permission to be back there.
this hatred, harassment and vitriol, have I take the law into my
own hands? Because I had approached highest echelons of the law
to seek protection. I came to you Mr. Speaker and said please Mr.
Speaker, assist me this is what is happening to me. You were aware.
What did you do, Mr. Speaker? What have I ever done to you or anybody
in this House? I was in good books with people of Zimbabwe and I
cannot allow your hatred to consume me. It is impossible. For those
amongst you where we had friendship, I thank you for that friendship.
To my colleagues who I shared Parliament work with, I have nothing
but pride to have been able to serve the people of my country. –
(MR MUTASA : inaudible interjections). – VaMutasa, handiti
takambotamba, tikafara, mukandikwazisa, tichiseka. Nhasi uno ndochema
I am ready to go to jail. Sentence me. Thank you very much.
Order, in terms of Standing Order Section 78 which reads as follows,
"every member against whom any charge by way of motion has
been made and whose conduct is under debate, having been heard in
his/her place shall withdraw while such charge is under debate and
shall take no further part in the proceedings."
In view of this
provision, I have granted Hon Bennett the opportunity to say what
he wishes to say in this august House before the House debates the
issue. I now therefore request Hon. Bennett to withdraw from the
Chamber while the debate continues in the Chamber.
withdraws from the Chamber.
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