By Leopold Munhende
AN angry MDC leader, Nelson Chamisa had to come to the rescue of Speaker of the National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda on Thursday, after party supporters turned the City Sports Centre into a cauldron of heckling, whistling and jeers.
Mudenda was conveying Parliament’s condolences at late MP Vimbai Tsvangirai-Java’s last funeral service at City Sports Centre in Harare.
The sports facility reverberated to loud jeers, boos and whistles after Mudenda mentioned President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s name in his introduction, forcing Chamisa off his seat.
“Please do not embarrass me, let the church conduct its process without us interrupting it in any way. Let Advocate Mudenda address us because he has a message from Parliament where our late sister worked.
“We cannot dismiss the importance of such institutions, Advocate Mudenda, please feel free to give us your address in this peaceful and tranquil environment,” said Chamisa.
“Do not fear repeating the name which you mentioned in your opening remarks, mention the name of President Mnangagwa, the President of Zanu PF.”
Chamisa has refused to recognise Mnangagwa as the country’s leader arguing the Zanu PF number one “stole” last year’s election.
Mnangagwa won the poll with a slim 50.8% majority against Chamisa, who came a close second with 44.3% of the vote. The MDC leader took the matter to the Constitutional Court in a bid to overturn the result but the petition was thrown out.
Mudenda then proceeded with his address, emphasising the need for tolerance and acknowledging Chamisa’s gesture.
Added Chamisa: “Learn from us and listen to us when we speak. We have giraffe anointing and giraffe views, we see what is in the future.”
“At the end of the day there will always be a Speaker of Parliament, who will have to be honoured when we get into government. There will be an army general whose office will have to be saluted. If you are to be this intolerant now, how then do you expect to behave when we are in power, the nation will mourn then.”
Earlier, MDC deputy national chairperson Job Sikhala was forced to intervene as supporters heckled the master of ceremonies for acknowledging the presence of MDC-T leader Thokozani Khupe.
Chamisa went on to defend Khupe whom he has had a frosty relationship with since the passing of founding party leader Morgan Tsvangirai last year.
Khupe was again heckled at Glen Forest Cemetery where Vimbai was laid to rest.
It is not the first time Khupe has faced the wrath of Chamisa’s supporters.
In the aftermath of Tsvangirai’s death, Khupe and Chamisa were engaged in a nasty leadership battle and at the late former Prime Minister’s funeral wake in Buhera, Khupe had to seek refuge in a hut with rogue activists on her tail.
The former Deputy Prime Minister was only saved by rains after the youths tried to torch the thatched hut.