By Alois Vinga
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has warned opposition MDC legislators that they will be thrown out of Parliament again if they continue disrespecting his authority.
The Speaker of Parliament ejected the opposition MPs from the House last Thursday ahead of the 2019 budget presentation after they refused to rise as Mnangagwa arrived.
The legislators refused to budge, resulting in ugly scenes as the police and other security services swopped into the House and forced them out.
Two MPs were hospitalised after the clashes.
However, addressing a ruling Zanu PF rally at Murombedzi Growth Point on Saturday, Mnangagwa was not apologetic.
“When I entered parliament the opposition party legislators remained seated going against the clear rules that when the head of State enters everyone rises,” said the Zanu PF leader.
The opposition party has refused to recognize Mnangagwa’s victory in the disputed July 30 elections, accusing the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of manipulating the results in Zanu PF’s favour.
Speaking after they were ejected on Thursday, MDC chairperson Thabitha Khumalo was defiant saying they would not stand up for Mnangagwa because, as far they are concerned, the Zanu PF leader did not win the elections.
“As MDC MPs we did not stand up; we were then charged for not standing up for Mnangagwa,” she said.
“As far as we are concerned as the MDC party, Mnangagwa was not elected. We were then told to get out, but we refused.
“They then called the police who started beating us up, pulling our dresses up and we were literally naked as women.”
She added; “We refused to leave because we are elected members of Parliament. Mnangagwa is not a member of Parliament.
“We have a right to be in Parliament and to express our belief that Mnangagwa did not win this election.”
However, Mnangagwa said Saturday that the opposition legislators would be ejected again if they continued to the protest.
“I will always go to parliament and if they continue in that behaviour they will always be sent out,” he said.
“Their late leader, Morgan Tsvangirai was very mature; despite our differences he would always attend Parliament not these ‘chicks’ we are now seeing.”
Tsvangirai died earlier this month after a long battle against cancer. He was succeeded by Nelson Chamisa who turned 40 this year.