By Anna Chibamu
MDC MPs this week humiliated Vice President Constantino Chiwenga as he attended Parliament for a question and answer session.
The MPs heckled the VP calling him a senior bachelor.
Another MP shouted “mukadzi aripi” (where is your wife?) with another one yelling “you brought coronavirus to Zimbabwe”.
The VP is currently embroiled in a messy divorce with wife, Mary Mubaiwa and has also been to China until late last year for treatment.
He kept his cool but independent Norton MP Temba Mliswa did not take the issue lightly as he immediately stood up on a point of order.
“Mr. Speaker Sir, I think it is important as members of this august House to give respect to the Honourable Vice President.
“The issue of coronavirus when it was asked by Honourable Kwaramba, Honourable Chikwinya shouted and said yes, we must know the condition of coronavirus because of the Honourable Vice President.
“What Honourable Chikwinya was implying was that Vice President came with coronavirus in Zimbabwe.
“These (MDC) are inhumane people with no human dignity whatsoever and we shall not allow that here. They must respect the Vice President.
“It is them who go outside the country who bring the virus, it is unacceptable.
“You must respect the Honourable Vice President, he (Chikwinya) cannot do that. He must withdraw his statement, they are inhumane,” Mliswa fumed as MDC members jeered at him.
Chikwinya denied disrespecting the VP and responded: “Vice President Honourable Chiwenga is a respectable Member of this House.
“The Vice President went through his difficult times which you (Speaker) announced at the beginning of this session.
“To insinuate that a matter regarding the Coronavirus which emanates from China is being discussed in Parliament and therefore since he was treated in China, therefore he brought that disease is an indictment and a show of disrespect by Honourable Mliswa to Honourable Chiwenga.
“I challenge the Clerk to refer to the Hansard. If there was any time that I raised the name of Honourable Vice President Chiwenga in relation to the Coronavirus, I am prepared to face any consequences.”
Speaker Jacob Mudenda promised to go by the record of the Hansard adding that a determination would be made accordingly.
Mliswa was asked to approach the chair and as he stood, MDC MPs blocked him on his return to take his seat on the opposition bench.
“Mr Speaker Sir, I was addressing you in terms of the issue that I brought up on the Honourable Vice President, I then went back to try and sit. Visibly, they blocked me.
“As somebody who is trained, I managed to find myself in there and in the process, I tore my suit and I am more than happy to be able to get it repaired but at the same time, as I am going back, they have equally occupied my seat,” Mliswa said, addressing his complaint to Mudenda.
The issue turned chaotic as Mliswa and MDC MPs almost turned the house into a boxing arena.
Mliswa told the MDC MPs off and sat on the bench after Kuwadzana East MP and party secretary general Charlton Hwende gave up his own seat for him.
The issue was resolved when MDC chief whip Prosper Mutseyami and the party’s leader in the house Thabitha Khumalo intervened.