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Parliamentary Roundup Bulletin No. 23 - 2012
Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust
June 06, 2012

Introduction

The House of Assembly resumed its sitting yesterday after a week-long break. Debate on violence dominated the proceedings of the House yesterday, in particular the murder of MDC-T official, Cephas Magura, in Mudzi District, Mashonaland East Province.

Hon. Paddy Zhanda (ZANU PF Goromonzi North) gave notice of motion on alleged shady deals by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) officials.

PLENARY PROCEEDINGS IN THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY

Debate on the Presidential Speech

House of Assembly Members took advantage of the motion on the Presidential Speech to debate the resurgence of violence in the country, especially the recent disturbances in Mudzi District where an MDC-T official was allegedly murdered by ZANU PF supporters in a politically motivated incident. Members across the political divide noted that President Mugabe in his Speech when he officially opened the 4th Session of the 7th Parliament denounced the scourge of violence in the country and appealed to MPs to lead by example. In his own words the President said, “I … wish to urge you as Members of Parliament and leaders in your own right, to preach the message of national healing and reconciliation amongst our people. Let us, therefore, in unison, say NO! to violence in all its manifestations”.

The aforementioned statement by President Mugabe was a rallying point for all Members that debated the motion yesterday. Members lamented the fact that the message of peace being preached by national leaders at various fora was apparently not cascading to the lower strata of society. The Organ on National Healing, Integration and Reconciliation came under criticism for dereliction of duty as its activities were said to be very thin on the ground.

With reference to the Mudzi incident, Members expressed shock and disappointment that two of their colleagues, namely, Hon. Newten Kachepa (ZANU PF Mudzi North) and Aquilinah Katsande (ZANU PF Mudzi West) were allegedly involved in the murder of Cephas Magura, the MDC-T District Chairman. MDC Members wondered why the two members have not been picked up by the police. They cited this as one example of the selective application of the law, as they argued that had it been MDC MPs involved the police would have moved swiftly to arrest them. They also criticized the police for not protecting their supporters as the incident happened right under the nose of the police who were covering the rally.

MDC MPs also noted that there have been no meaningful efforts to uproot the culture of violence in the country as perpetrators of past violence have still not been brought to book. They cited the 2008 Presidential Runoff Elections and the Gukurahundi atrocities in Matabeleland and Midlands Provinces in the early 80s where innocent civilians lost their lives as a result of state-sponsored violence. They urged government to be ruthless with perpetrators of violence so as to send the right message to would-be offenders.

ZANU PF Members said their party did not condone violence hence their members who are implicated in violence crimes should face the full wrath of the law as individuals and should not seek protection from the party.

Of particular interest to note regarding yesterday’s debate was a keen interest to take part in the debate by MPs who were exposed by NEWSDAY for not having debated in the House since the inauguration of the 7th Parliament in August 2008.

NOTICE OF MOTION ON ALLEGED SHADY OPERATIONS OF RBZ

Hon. Padddy Zhanda gave notice yesterday that he will move a motion in the House today on what he called, “high levels of corruption, shady deals, acts of economic sabotage and lack of corporate governance principles at the RBZ”. His motion calls for the establishment of an ad hoc parliamentary committee to investigate all the allegations leveled against the RBZ.

The motion will be debated today soon after the question and answer session and SAPST will closely monitor the events.

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