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Zanu PF-MDC tiff set to spill into parly sitting this Tuesday

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By Anna Chibamu


THE tiff between Zanu PF and opposition MDC supporters could spill into parliament sitting during resumption this Tuesday with National Assembly Speaker Jacob Mudenda yet to find a solution to the acrimony.

In the past week, chaos has dominated proceedings in the house as MDC has insisted on failure to recognise President Emmerson Mnangagwa as the legitimately elected national leader.

MDC boycotted the 2020 national budget presentation by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube earlier this month.

Zanu PF has sought to retaliate, with MDC vice president Tendai Biti’s Public Accounts Committee meetings twice disrupted by ruling party legislators who insist they did not recognise the Harare East MP as chair.

During the disruptions, the MPs have exchanged insults in front of visitors.

Ruling party MPs claim their leader, Mnangagwa was being disrespected by opposition lawmakers.

Monday’s Public Accounts Committee hearing of oral evidence from the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) on Command Agriculture was cancelled under unclear circumstances.

Parliament is set to resume normal sitting this Tuesday with all set for a chaotic event.

To make matters worse, legislators are expected to debate Ncube’s budget, which they boycotted during its presentation.

“The issue has been complicated by a resolution which was passed in the absence of MDC members, to establish a Committee of Privileges to look into alleged contempt of Parliament by MDC MPs,” said local think-tank on parliamentary and judiciary affairs, Veritas.

Responding to developments in Parliament where an MDC MP Concilia Chinanzvavana has been removed from chairing one of the committees, Veritas, in a statement weekend, said the move was unconstitutional, not procedural and contrary to Parliament’s Standing Rules and Orders.

“Section 139 of the Constitution states that Parliamentary proceedings must be regulated by Standing Rules and Orders which are drawn up by the Houses on the recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee on Standing Rules and Orders (CSRO).

“According to the National Assembly’s Standing Rules and Orders, the chairpersons of all Portfolio Committees must be appointed by the CSRO Standing Order 18 as the chairing and composition of Committees must take into account, the number of MPs from each party in Parliament and also gender representation.

“It is only if no chairperson has been appointed (which is not applicable in present circumstances) or if the appointed chairperson is absent, that committee members may elect a temporary chairperson for themselves (Select Committee Rules; rule 8),” read part of its statement.

Last Friday, a PAC meeting hosting Fertiliser, Seed and Grain Ltd manager Steve Morland, was disrupted and forced to adjourn when two Zanu PF MPs, Dexter Nduna and Tafanana Zhou, caused chaos.

Reached for comment on how he intended to resolve the stand-off, Mudenda told NewZimbabwe.com that he was in a meeting.