By Staff Reporter
THE Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda and Senate President Mabel Chinomona breached Covid-19 restrictions when they convened sitting and expelled four MDC Alliance MPs.
This was admitted by Mudenda Tuesday when he told House of Assembly members that the law that allowed Parliament to work during the current lockdown was only gazetted last Friday.
Lockdown restrictions were enforced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on 30 March as part of measures to halt the spread of the novel Covid-19 outbreak.
A number of operations including schools and the informal sector have not yet reopened.
However, Parliament has been in breach of these measures as it met on several occasions with the notable sitting being the expulsion of four MDC Alliance MPs, Charlton Hwende, Thabitha Khumalo, Prosper Mutseyami and Lilian Timveous.
Mudenda and Chinomona were acting on recommendations by reinstated MDC-T secretary general Douglas Mwonzora who wrote to Parliament informing it, the four senior MDC Alliance officials were no longer party members.
On Tuesday, Mudenda told legislators Parliament was only allowed to resume sitting last Friday after the gazetting of a new law.
“As Parliament, we were not yet allowed to work during lockdown. The law to ensure we are allowed to work was only released on Friday night. That is when it was gazetted as S.I. 136 of 2020,” Mudenda told MPs after they had raised objections over police and army harassment at security checkpoints.
“So the law was gazetted that supports work of Parliament starting last Friday night.”
Soon after the recall of its MPs, the MDC Alliance accused the Parliament of ambushing the opposition party.
“Realising that the lockdown has been abused to lockdown only the people and the MDC Alliance, to ambush the people with the Supreme Court judgment and recalling of the people’s Members of Parliament, this act has taken illegitimacy to Parliament,” the party said.