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Parliamentary round up: Bulletin No. 19 / 2010
Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust
October 20, 2010
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motion: Political violence
The motion in
reply to the presidential speech dominated debate in the House
of Assembly on Tuesday 19 October 2010, with the House divided
along political lines. The debate focused on two major themes; violence
and distribution of agricultural inputs.
ZANU PF and
MDC MPs traded accusations on who is responsible for political violence
in the country. The controversy was instigated by Hon. Festus Dumbu
(MDC-T Zaka West) who said despite the fact that President Mugabe
called for peace in the country when he officially opened the 3rd
Session of the 7th Parliament on 13 July 2010, political violence
has become endemic in the country. He said Zaka District has always
borne the brunt of political violence by ZANU PF dating back to
pre-independence. Hon. Dumbu alleged that during the liberation
struggle for independence, the majority of people in Zaka District
associated with PF ZAPU policies and ideology, which did not go
down well with ZANLA freedom fighters that operated in the area.
Thus Zaka people were persecuted by ZANU PF as they were labeled
sell-outs. In the 90s, Zaka people were subjected to yet another
spate of political violence, this time for supporting ZUM led by
Edgar Tekere. Hon. Dumbu further alleged that Zaka people have been
punished by ZANU PF for supporting MDC. He accused ZANU PF of sending
the War Veterans leader, Jabulani Sibanda, on an errand to terrorize
villagers in Masvingo Province and Zaka District in particular.
MDC Members called for responsible authorities to reign in Jabulani
Sibanda without any further delays.
debate did no go down well with ZANU PF Members who tried in vain
to have him ruled out of order for accusing a person who could not
defend himself in the House.
Hon. Makhosini Hlongwane (ZANU PF Mberengwa East) said MDC-T was
equally to blame for political violence in the country. He said
in actual fact all major political parties were guilty for fanning
political violence in the country as acknowledged in the Global
Political Agreement (GPA). Hon. Hlongwane told the House that
he had evidence of MDC terror camps based in Epworth, Mufakose and
Chitungwiza during the 2008 Harmonized Elections. He accused MDC
activists trained from these “terror camps” for murdering
ZANU PF supporters during the election period in question. Other
ZANU PF Members who debated the motion apportioned blame on MDC
as they argued that the emergence of political violence coincided
with the formation of the MDC in 1999.
was strongly rejected by MDC Members led by Hon. Tabitha Khumalo
who said ZANU PF’s propensity for political violence predated
the formation of MDC. She cited the 80s political violence meted
out on PF ZAPU supporters, which has come to be known as ‘Gukurahundi’.
agreed that continued political violence in the country made mockery
of the Organ for National Healing and Integration.
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