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Mudenda, journalist row takes twist

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By Anna Chibamu


NATIONAL Assembly Speaker Jacob Mudenda has denied claims he reported journalist Simba Chikanza to Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) director general Isaac Moyo for specification after their clash in Serbia last month.

UK, based Chikanza runs an online platform called Zim-Eye and last month confronted Mudenda arguing the Speaker was abusing MDC lawmakers following his ruling that they be docked five month allowances as punishment for snubbing President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

MDC Zengeza West lawmaker Job Sikhala on Tuesday claimed he has an affidavit from Chikanza indicating Mudenda had sought help from Moyo to find a way of punishing the activist.

“On a point of privilege Mr Speaker Sir, concerning events of 15 October, 2019 there was an altercation that took place in the city of Belgrade in Serbia between you Mr Speaker Sir, and a Zimbabwean journalist called Simba Chikanza.

“After that confrontation it is now being reported through an affidavit that you went and reported the said journalist to the director general national Intelligence Services,” said Sikhala.

“Mr Speaker Sir, Simba Chikanza is a Zimbabwean entitled to the protection by the laws of this country. May you please guarantee as raised that he has been classified as a threat to this country; that his classification as a threat to state security was motivated by your report to Moyo; that he is guaranteed to come back to his country? Can you guarantee his security?”

In response Mudenda denied ever talking to Moyo about the issue.

“Sometimes is important that we get the facts straight. When leaders of delegations to conferences such as these (ICU), the leaders are accorded state securities and I was privileged to be covered by Serbian state security. Because of what Serbian security thought to the extent that my security was supposed to be secured, they needed to take necessary measures including beefing up security around my presence to Serbia.

“It is normal practice that the security services in Serbia are obligated to inform my country of origin of what is transpired and it is the communication between the security services of the two countries. What transpired between the two organs is not privy to me. It is the matter between the two. So I did not make any report to the Director General Intelligence to Zimbabwe,” Mudenda said.

Chikanza humiliated Mudenda while in Serbia on October 15 as the Speaker was having breakfast in a hotel.