By Darlington Gatsi
CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) legislator Fadzayi Mahere escaped Parliament’s wrath with caution over a tweet she posted on social media appalled by the National Assembly upholding the recall of opposition members.
The Mt Pleasant MP took to social media Wednesday, disgruntled by parliament refusing to rescind the recall of 13 legislators citing the High Court order was preceded by Sengezo Tshabangu’s notice expelling MPs.
Zanu PF MP Energy Mutodi Thursday called for a harsh punishment against Mahere for undermining the role of the National Assembly.
“My point of privilege emanates from a tweet that was sent by one of our Hon. Members in this August House by the name Hon. Fadzayi Mahere. In the tweet, she says “defying a court order to force fraudulent recall is a whole new level of thuggery and contempt. The brazen disregard for the rule of law confirms what we have always said, ZANU PF is anti-people, anti-democracy and anti-progress. We need new leaders”. This kind of tweet undermines that role of this Parliament. This platform…
“This platform is a democratic platform in which every Hon. Member who has an issue against your Chair or any of the developments that happen in this Parliament, can air their views and they can be debated fairly, but if we have an Hon. Member who goes out to tweet on the affairs of Parliament and on a development that has been done legally and procedurally, I think this should not be allowed to happen. I pray that Hon. Mahere be given a suitable punishment for such behaviour,” said Mutodi.
🟡DEFYING a court order to force fraudulent recalls is a whole new level of thuggery and contempt. The brazen disregard for the rule of law confirms what we’ve always said: ZANU PF is anti-people, anti-democracy and anti-progress!
We need new leaders.🇿🇼
— Fadzayi Mahere🇿🇼 (@advocatemahere) November 15, 2023
Mutodi’s submission drew disgruntlement from CCC legislators who interjected him.
Before ejecting Kuwadzana East MP Chalton Hwende from the national assembly after protesting, Speaker Jacob Mudenda said legislators should use proper channels in accordance with the law.
“While the freedom of expression is respected and must be respected, it is important also that we as Members of Parliament, must also respect the provisions of Section 86 of the Constitution that these rights are not absolute. The only absolute rights are the rights to life, for example, such rights are absolute. The freedom of expression is not absolute and therefore, it must be exercised with greatest caution in respect of other people’s rights.
“More than that, if the Hon. Member has got issues, they can be ventilated through question time, orally. They can be ventilated through a written question. They can be ventilated through a motion. Our Standing Orders do allow that.
“We do not encourage such behaviour which goes against the provisions of our Standing Orders. Our Standing Orders have got the force of the law and I do not want to be persuaded to act accordingly. I shall engage Hon. Mahere accordingly and advise accordingly. Hon. Hwende, when I am speaking, you should be silent. There is no contestation between the Chair and yourself. You must respect that.
“Although Hon. Mutodi is asking for some implied drastic action, I will start with the soft skill and if that soft skill is not appreciated, then the next step will be taken accordingly,” said Mudenda.