12 December 2018

Zimbabwe: Call to Rein in Rowdy MPs

A Church and Civic Society Joint Forum (CCSJF) yesterday petitioned the Speaker of the National Assembly, Advocate Jacob Mudenda, over the rowdy behaviour of parliamentarians during sittings. The forum called on Adv Mudenda to rein in the legislators and restore order and dignity to the National Assembly.

CCSJF national director Reverend Anglistone Sibanda said they were concerned with the behaviour of legislators.

"We voters are concerned about the behaviour of legislators who are turning the National Assembly into a house for theatrical performances. We feel short-changed that our representatives are prioritising their party interests ahead of national interests," he said.

He urged the Committee on Standing Orders to come up with punitive measures for those that flout parliamentary rules.

"We are demanding that the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders speedily reviews the code of conduct and come up with strict punitive measures against rowdy behaviour in Parliament and should protect the public interest by whipping all MPs into line with national agendas as expected by the Constitution," said Rev Sibanda.

He also blasted the MDC Alliance members for failing to recognise the country's legitimate leader, President Mnangagwa.

"We note with concern the 'legitimacy/illegitimacy' question that has taken centre stage in Parliament and wish to remind our honourable members that we sent you to make laws and to focus on delivering on election promises and nothing else," he said.

"The issue of legitimacy was closed by the Constitutional Court, and the parliamentarians in unity took oaths of office using the very Constitution which endorsed the President.

"They are sacrificing developmental issues on the altar by fighting for the cause of a losing presidential candidate, and as such we feel that our rights are being violated; and we are being taken for granted."

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