By Anna Chibamu
Government is set to withdraw allowances owed to MDC MPs who staged a walk-out on President Emmerson Mnangagwa during the national leader’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) in parliament Tuesday.
This was said by National Assembly speaker Jacob Mudenda in the house.
“No allowances for the past five months. I would want to instruct the Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube to withdraw their pay-sheet; no payment for debates of the outstanding balances and for today’s sitting,” said Mudenda, who is also a Zanu PF politburo member.
The MDC continued with its defiance campaign against Mnangagwa, whom it accuses of stealing the July 2018 vote at the expense of his close challenger Nelson Chamisa.
Following the walk-out, some Zanu PF MPs slammed their opposition colleagues for their action.
“People now know them (MDC MPs),” said Zanu PF chief whip Pupurai Togarepi, adding, “They (Zimbabweans) know that they have an agenda in this country now.
“You do not walk out on the President when he is addressing then later on come back to debate the same speech.
“There is confusion in this party. They are playing politics without depth. They were chosen by people who chose the same President. Who do they represent? The punishment they got is too low and, in our view, these people (MDC MPs) should be chucked out and an election be called.”
Togarepi added, “At every constituency, they are supposed to go there and report back on events in parliament, but they walk out.
“They are supposed to be in parliament representing their people. We are dealing with people who are ill-informed.”
Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, leader of Government in Parliament, said MDC MPs are confused.
“They are a confused lot. No one will sign any law that they will pass in parliament… you do not come in parliament as a product of any election and you decide that you do not recognise the President.”
Buhera South MP, Joseph Chinotimba said he was happy about the decision by the Speaker to reverse their payment for the past five months and the allowance for Tuesday’s sitting.
Chief’s Council President Fortune Charumbira urged MDC to engage Zanu PF and the state President if they had any grievances.
“That is bad and unfortunate. We do not solve issues by fighting on and on. We should respect our President. He is the Head of State and should be respected at all times,” Charumbira said.
This was not the first time MDC MPs have shown open defiance against Mnangagwa.
Last year, the same stance saw police storm the legislative chamber to drag out each of the legislators one by one.