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MDC-T MPs in Parliament walkout over Dzamara
12/03/2015 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter
 
Insisted that Parliament should debate Dzamara case ... Nelson Chamisa
 
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MDC-T MPs walked out of Parliament Thursday protesting the refusal by the Acting Speaker to debate the alleged kidnapping of journalist and pro-democracy activist, Itai Dzamara.

Nelson Chamisa, MP for Kuwadzana, stood up to push for debate saying, even though the case was not on the order paper of the day, it was of national importance.

“Mr Speaker, this is a matter of death and life and according to our rules and regulations, we can have all orders of the day stood over until we depose off this important matter of Itai Dzamara,” Chamisa said.

But Zanu PF MP for Zvishavane, John Holder, opposed the move saying the issue was not important enough to override the normal business of the national assembly.

“Since the acting president Cde Mnangagwa (Emmerson) yesterday (Wednesday) dealt with the matter, it is now in the hands of authorities so I believe the house cannot suspend its business for this case unless the guys from the opposition know where he is” said Holder.

Acting speaker, Rueben Marumahoko, said the motion could only be entertained next week since, as the chair, he had not been briefed by Chamisa.

However, this did not go down well with opposition MPs who felt that Zanu PF was trying to stop the debate as the ruling party is suspected to have ordered the kidnapping.

Amos Chibaya rose to correct the speaker only to be shot down by Marumahoko who insisted that the case would be dealt with next week.

This prompted opposition MPs to start singing “Dzamara, Dzamara, Dzamara mai mwana Dzamara Mai mwana”.

Their actions interrupted parliamentary proceedings for almost twenty minutes, forcing the sergeant at arms to send Chibaya out of the national assembly.

The MP at first resisted but the Speaker made a ruling which forced him out.

After that, the rest of the MPs from the opposition, including those from the small MDC factions, joined in and converged outside the chambers.

“We did this without planning and it was because of emotions and the experiences that we have with the regime,” said MDC-T chief whip Innocent Gonese.

“We have seen people being abducted and found dead in the past and it is our right to debate such important matters.

“In fact we think we could charge the speaker for blocking such an important debate which deals with life and death.”



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Dzamara has been missing since Monday after he was allegedly abducted by five men driving an unregistered vehicle.

The journalist-cum-activist has been mobilising support for mass action against President Robert Mugabe, accusing the 91-year-old leader of having failed to govern.


 
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