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is between Chombo, Makwavarara?
Faith Zaba, The
June 02, 2004
Parliament burst out
into laughter when Mutare North MP Giles Mutsekwa asked Local Government,
Public Works and National Housing Minister Ignatius Chombo what he found
in acting Harare mayor Sekesai Makwavarara that made him continue to subvert
Even Chombo could
not help but smile at the question, which Speaker of Parliament Emmerson
Mnangagwa said was not a policy issue. Chombo this week suspended 13 MDC
councilors for defying a ministerial directive not to conduct elections
to choose a deputy mayor, who would have replaced Makwavarara.
from MDC early this year after her party ordered her to relinquish her
post as acting mayor in protest against the dismissal of elected mayor
Chombo had issued
a directive saying no elections would be held until 2006. The acting mayor
is currently residing in a council rented house in Gunhill and is driving
a council vehicle.
On another related
question, Kuwadzana MP Nelson Chamisa asked Chombo if it was government
policy to victimise and make people suffer in cities won by opposition
He also wanted to
know if it was government policy to use the Minister of Local Government
as an instrument to deal with the opposition in Zimbabwe. Chombo said
all local authorities were governed by the Urban Councils Act. He said
any person who violated the rules and regulations prescribed in the legislation
would be dealt with.
of Local Government is the one who is mandated to superintend and implement
the Urban Councils Act and all local authorities," Chombo said.
Earlier, before Chombo
arrived in Parliament, Harare North MP Trudy Stevenson had asked the acting
Leader of the House, Joseph Made if it was government policy to violate
legislation like the Urban Councils Act, which she said provided for elections
She said the government
interfered with the democratic process in Harare when it prevented the
council from conducting the elections to choose a deputy mayor and councillors
to various committees.
In response, Made
failed to give an adequate answer, but instead spoke at length about how
MDC has mobilised its councillors and about how his government would not
tolerate such actions.
will not stand back and allow a situation where the generality of the
population suffers as a result of that. As soon as you realise that you
have got to approach each area with that reasonableness, the government
will not stand by.
the end of the day it is government's responsibility to make sure that
there is peace and tranquility and that the population does enjoy the
services that are supposed to be provided," said Made to interjections.
Seeing no connection
between the response and the question, Gwanda North MP Paul Themba-Nyathi
asked Made what question he was responding to. In an attempt to justify
the response, Made said he was responding to comments made in the question
"So if you attach
some other comments to your question that are not really related to the
issues that you are raising and insinuating that we are there to ignore
our own Acts, that is not the case and that is not our policy," he
said. On another issue St Mary's Member of Parliament Job Sikhala called
on all Zimbabweans to openly debate the person who should succeed President
He told Parliament
this week that this person, whether he is from Zanu PF or his party MDC,
should be "new blood".
Sikhala was contributing
to debate in which the House was congratulating the recently elected Malawian
President Bingu wa Mutharika and expressing its appreciation for the peaceful
atmosphere that surrounded the elections.
"I urge people
of Zimbabwe to openly debate who should take over the reigns of power
in our country and which new blood should run this country. I do not care
whether that new blood comes from Zanu PF or MDC.
"The new blood
should run the country in a manner not in old fashioned liberation war
movement type of rulership that is similar in some of the despot countries.
We urge some of our unrepentant brothers in Africa who still want to cling
to power forever, to learn lessons from a new crop of leaders. I would
also urge others in the different political parties that when we are injecting
new blood we must be free to debate about," he said.
Debating the same
motion, Gokwe North MP Eleck Mkandla of Zanu PF thanked the Malawian government
for inviting the Speaker of Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa to witness the
"I would like
to thank the people of Zimbabwe for giving better advice to Malawi by
allowing to include the Speaker of Parliament in their processes. If they
did not believe in us, they would not have invited us.
"I would like
to say that all leaders are chosen by God and the Malawian people were
given a leader by God. Even us we were given our leaders by God,"
He said like the people
in Malawi who lost the election, MDC should learn to accept defeat.
"You talk and
talk and rather than discussing issues of development in your country.
If you want a leader of tomorrow you need to learn from other countries
and from international laws," Mkandla said.
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