By Costa Nkomo
CONTROVERSIAL MDC-T MP Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga Thursday caused a stir in parliament when she knelt before Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube to thank him for reserving funds to source for free sanitary wear to school going girls in his 2021 national budget.
The veteran opposition legislator first sought permission to perform the unorthodox thank-you from deputy speaker Tsitsi Gezi.
She then unrolled a reed mat in front of Ncube before she knelt down and started showering praise on the minister.
While kneeling down before Ncube, Misihairabwi-Mushonga took out a round wooden plate with two branded black T-shirts and handed them to the treasury chief.
Misihairabwi-Mushonga, who was heckled by the fellow opposition legislators, said she was proud of Ncube, who, for the first time in almost two decades, reserved a vote for sanitary wear to school children.
“I am happy with this particular Minister (Ncube) and his team. Some of us have been in this house (Parliament) since 2000.
“Since 2000, sanitary wear has been our debate, but we have never at one time had a minister who is supportive like Ncube. It has taken us 20 years before these things were done,” said the MP, who also chairs the parliamentary committee on primary and secondary education.
Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya questioned the deputy speaker on why she allowed the feminist legislator to perform rituals in parliament.
The MDC Alliance lawmaker said the incident set a wrong precedence in the house.
“Under which parliamentary rule did you allow the rituals to be performed? I can also do the same tomorrow. I can remove my clothes appreciating the good work a minister would have done,” Chikwinya said.
“We are an institution of rules even though we appreciate our culture. The precedent set here is wrong. People out there, who do not have a background of this incident will believe that women are made to kneel before men.”
Misihairabwi-Mushonga shot back at Chikwinya, “Kana usina kumbopfugamirwa nemukadzi enda unobika doro (If you have never had a woman kneel for you, go and perform a beer ritual).”
Gezi insisted she indeed granted permission to the Bulawayo Proportional Representative legislator to perform the rituals.
“Before Honourable Misihairabwi performed the rituals, she sought permission from me. I saw that there was nothing wrong and I granted her the permission,” said Gezi.
Magwegwe MP Anele Ndebele heckled Gezi telling her she had no power to grant Misihairabwi-Mushonga permission to perform rituals in Parliament.
“It’s not about you (Gezi). It’s about the rules. Which rules allow rituals to be performed in Parliament?” Ndebele asked.
It is not the first time the hilarious lawmaker has used drama in parliament to stress a point.
In 2015, Misihairabwi-Mushonga took samples of used underwear to parliament where she paraded them before fellow MPs and a live television viewership to highlight the plight of poor Zimbabwean women who are unable to afford new garments.