By Anna Chibamu
MDC Alliance MPs on Tuesday confronted National Assembly Speaker Jacob Mudenda over the continued incarceration of Harare West legislator Joanna Mamombe.
The embattled Mamombe was earlier this year thrown into remand prison for allegedly faking her abduction by state security agents in May this year.
Her latest incarceration came despite her doctors claiming she was not feeling well.
The legislator, who is said to be suffering mental illness, was forced out of her hospital bed to remand prison, causing an outcry by some human rights defenders and her own party members and colleagues.
MDC Alliance vice president Lynette Karenyi raised concerns to the speaker over Mamombe’s health status after being subjected to inhuman treatment in the hands of her alleged abductors and the state.
“I have realised that the issue of victimisation and the subjection to torture is also one of the key problems whereby women are not going to be encouraged to stand up to be in local government, to be in Parliament.
“Mr. Speaker, may I also draw your attention on the issue of the right to health.
“Honourable Speaker, we are encouraging young women to be Members of Parliament and we have got one of our members of Parliament, Honourable Joanna Mamombe.
“May I also draw your attention on the issue of the right to health, Honourable Speaker, we are encouraging young women to be Members of Parliament and we have got one of our Members of Parliament, Honourable Joanna Mamombe…” said Karenyi before the speaker ordered her to raise her issue through a motion.
She continued, “Mr. Speaker, but I was trying to draw your attention on her health because it is more important before we raise the motion.”
This did not go down well with Zengeza MP Job Sikhala who intervened.
“I want to raise my concerns over the manner in which you (speaker) dismissed a very important issue which Honourable Karenyi wanted to raise.
“Mr. Speaker Sir, the issue which Honourable Karenyi wanted to raise is an issue concerning one of the Members,” Sikhala’s interjection came to a halt as the speaker ordered him to take his seat.
During further debates, Mamombe’s issue was also mentioned by Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya during Treaties’ Agreements.
Chikwinya condemned the human rights abuses on civilians which alleged were reasons for Zimbabwe failing to get investors.
Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi and Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe have in the past dismissed any such allegations against the State saying those who alleged falsehoods should be prosecuted if they failed to prove their allegations.
Ziyambi told Parliament recently that Mamombe and two other MDC Alliance activists had lied about the abduction allegations.