Opposition MP Rusty Markham storms out of Parliament; says he is ‘sick and tired’ of racism from CCC, Zanu PF

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By Darlington Gatsi

CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) MP for Harare North Allan ‘Rusty’ Markham stormed out of the National Assembly after Zanu PF legislator, Joseph Chinotimba, hurled racial slurs at him.

This is the latest episode of racial discrimination against Markham who earlier this week was described as vasina mabvi by fellow opposition member, Tendai Biti.

Biti and Markham are at loggerheads as they are both vying for a ticket to represent CCC in Harare East in the August 23 elections.

The utterances landed Biti, a senior opposition member in hot water with supporters blasting him for using offensive words against a political rival.

CCC has not yet come out with an official position regarding Biti’s sentiments against Markham amid reports of divisions in the party.

Biti’s utterances seem to have marked the beginning of a torrid week for Markham who found himself at the receiving end of Chinotimba’s derogatory remarks.

RELATED: Opposition MP Biti on the offensive, uses derogatory ‘vasina mabvi’ term in reference to white competitor Rusty Markham

Chinotimba referred to Markham as murungu a verbatim which infuriated the opposition legislator.

Markham said he has been subjected to racism from the ruling party as well as CCC.

“That statement is totally racial and you as Speaker have no intention of calling the man to order. In this inflammatory position we are in now it is quite clear to me that there is no reconciliation from the honourable member and the party he represents. Unfortunately he is not the first to refer to me because of my colour.

“I was given my skin by my parents as they were. I am sick and tired of being referred to as white. In the constitution it states categorically that you cannot separate us by religion, sex, gender, you name everything and yet you tolerate that. I am absolutely disgusted by the racism that comes from that side and is also endemic in my own,” said Markham.

Markham is one of five Zimbabwe’s white parliamentarians.

His abrupt departure left Parliament in chaos with CCC MPs castigating Chinotimba who did not show remorse.

Addressing the media, Zanu PF Chief whip Pupurai Togarepi defended Chinotimba.

“I do not think it was directed to honourable Markham. He talked about varungu and Markham himself tells himself that he is murungu. He knows he is a white man and i do not think it was directed at honourable Markham.

“If it was directed at him then we would ask honourable Chinotimba to withdraw because as Zimbabwe, as Zanu PF we are non-racial,” said Togarepi.