By Staff Reporter
CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) and MDC T legislators have leapt to the defence of beleaguered Speaker of the National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda after after he came under attack members of his own party, Zanu PF, agitating for diaspora vote.
Addressing a workshop in Kariba two weels ago, Mudenda openly said he was in favourt of diaspora vote, thereby taking a diametrically different route from that of the ruling party.
He also called for an ammendment of the constitution to permit diasporans to vote.
Zanu PF has vowed it would never give its citizens living in the dispora the right to participate in national electoral processes.
Since making those utterances, Mudenda has not had peace, with party hawks angling to getting him axed.
Critics say Zanu PF is terrified by the fact that should an estimated over one million Zimbabweans currently based in the diaspora are allowed to vote, it could lose elections to the opposition.
“Amendments to the Electoral Act should clearly specify the procedures and mechanisms for registration and voting for citizens in the diaspora,” Mudenda said while addressing legislators and other stakeholders at a workshop on the Electoral Amendment Bill.
This was not taken lightly by the ruling party youths and their bosses, with reports suggesting he was barred from attending the Politburo last week over the utterances.
Zanu PF national political commissar Mike Bimha had to call an emergency press conference to deny the claims Friday.
Mnangagwa allegedly read the riot act to Mudenda during the politburo meeting, saying personal views should not be paraded in the public as party policy.
“We are a party united by our shared ideology and common values. All of us are subject to the collective wisdom of the party. The correct party line must be adhered to once a collective decision has been made. Personal views and opinions must never be smuggled to assume the status of being a party policy,” Mnangagwa said.
Zanu PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa also criticised Mudenda over the issue.
“It’s okay for Parliament, as the electorate of the sovereign people of Zimbabwe, to express their certain views. We also belong to a party and we have the majority. It’s unbecoming when some of our members express views in Parliament about certain issues. We have a caucus at the party. Why would somebody from the ruling party want to go and express things about the diaspora or express things about when the President should be electing a vice-president
The drama also spilt into parliament, where CCC MPs confronted Zanu PF chief whip Pupurai Togarepi after he went to Mudenda whispering something during a question and answer session.
A question had been asked over the controversial Pomona Dumpsite Deal involving US$344 million which the opposition alleged was facing government interference without approval from opposition councillors.
CCC Harare central MP Murisi Zwizwai scoffed at Togarepi saying: “Ibvapo ndiwe unoda kuti mudhara uyu (Mudenda) abve pachigaro. Aita sei mudhara uyu wamunoda kubvisa (What do you want from the Speaker? Can you move away from him. Do not pretend to like this man. We know you want him fired. What has he done?”
Zwizwai also claimed Zanu PF officials were planning posion Mudenda.
“Why do you want this man fired.You want him to go home without his benefits (pension). We know some of you are planning to poison him. Why,” shouted Zwizwai.