INDEPENDENT MP for Norton Temba Mliswa on Wednesday took parliament’s deputy speaker to task for allegedly discriminating him from the rest of the MPs who belonged to established political parties.
This came after the chief whips of Zanu PF and MDC-T had earlier submitted to the Speaker a list of MPs who had indicated they would want to field questions during the house’s question and answer session.
As is parliament procedure when one wants to be recognised by the Speaker, the former Zanu PF Mashonaland West chair stood on numerous questions to ask a question but the Speaker stuck to the submitted list.
That was enough fuel for the fiery legislator to blow his top, accusing the deputy speaker Mabel Chinomona of denying him the floor. Mliswa further claimed he was being victimised for defeating a Zanu PF candidate during a by-election that ushered him back to parliament.
“My question is that some of us do not have Chief Whips... I am no longer from Zanu PF so if I ask questions, it is as if you are against me as a Member of Parliament for Norton. Three times I have stood up and you are not recognising me.”
The former Zanu PF Hurungwe West MP bounced back into parliament late last year following his expulsion together with many for plotting a party coup against President Mugabe.
Mliswa threatened to write formally to the Speaker expressing his displeasure with what he insisted was a systematic ploy to exclude him from parliament’s chamber processes.
“I will put it in writing and point out that the Speaker seems to be supporting the ruling party,” he said.
“I was expelled from Zanu PF and I have come back. I am not being recognised; you continue to victimise us.
“I mentioned it last time to the Speaker and I actually informed the Speaker that you are destroying my spirit. Even today, I went to him.
“Zanu PF writes a list of honourable members who want to debate and MDC does the same. What about me? Who will write my name? We want to be a Parliament that discusses national issues regardless of party.
“We are now approaching a political angle to show that you are partisan. When you are in the Chair, may you be non-partisan. We came from the people and we are representing the people. What really is my issue? Is it because I am not a Zanu PF member?”
In her response, Chinomona, who had just taken over the seat from substantive Speaker Jacob Mudenda, urged the MP to calm down and stop boasting about his victory over Zanu PF.
“...The fact that you won against Zanu PF has no relevance in this august house,” said Chinomona, adding that her failure to recognise the businessman was because MPs continued to ask supplementary questions.
“...So to say that you are being victimised, that should not be entertained by honourable Members. That is not true. So, let us not be angry because there is nothing of that sort.”
Chinomona said every member who comes from his constituency was representing their constituents and not the Chief Whip.
“What happened is what we can term free and fair,” she said.