By Noel Tshuma
THE contentious issue of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s disputed legitimacy has rocked Parliament with Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda Thursday revealing that Parliament’s Standing Orders and Rules Committee (SORC) now seized with the matter after several committee disruption in the past two weeks.
Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee chaired by MDC vice president Tendai Biti has already had its engagement disrupted twice while the a hearing into the Media Commission’s operations by the committee on Media and Broadcasting Services was also forced to abort proceedings after Zanu PF lawmakers argued they do not recognise pposition chairpersons.
The Media Committee is chaired by MDC Binga MP, Prince Maduveko Sibanda.
In a ruling on a motion of privilege raised by MDC MP for Mbizo, Settlement Chikwinya, requesting Mudenda to set up a committee to investigate Zanu PF legislators allegedly disrupting portfolio committee meetings the Speaker revealed the issue is already under consideration.
According to Mudenda the SORC had already met early Thursday to deliberate on the matter but no resolution had been made thus far.
“What you are saying honourable member is symptomatic of a much bigger problem that must be dealt with in a broad manner and the SROC is seized with that,” Mudenda ruled.
Chikwinya argued Zanu PF lawmakers in then past fortnight had deliberately sabotaged committee meetings chaired by the opposition in what is seen as retaliation for the MDC’s refusal to recognise President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s presidency.
“As of today, the Energy and Power Development and the Information, Media and Broadcasting Services committees have failed to take off after some members chose to dislodge the legitimate chairpersons. “All the committees chaired by the MDC are being disrupted and I therefore call upon you the set up a committee to investigate the disruptive members,” Chikwinya said.
The Energy committee which had sat to gather evidence from independent Power Producers (Great Zimbabwe Hydro Power Limited, Shilands Enterprises, Tsanga Power Station, Harava Solar Park and ZERA) on the state of affairs in the renewable energy sector is chaired by MDC MP for Binga South Gabbuzza Joel Guebuzza.
On the other hand the committee on Information Media and Broadcasting Services was expected to hear oral submissions from the Zimbabwe Media Commission on the ZMC Bill among other issues.
Zanu PF MP Webster Shamu said the disruptions will continue until the MDC recognises Mnangagwa.
“We will continue like this until they understand that they cannot have their cake and eat it at the same time. If they come back to their sense and say they are wrong, that they recognise that Zanu PF forms this government and the president is …Mnangagwa then we can start from there,” Chegutu East MP Webster Shamu said after the Information failed to take off.
Mnangagwa won last year’s elections by a small margin but the MDC argued he had rigged his way to victory against its candidate Nelson Chamisa.
Chamisa tried to overturn the result at the Constitutional Court but his petition failed for lack of evidence according to the ruling.
The MDC leader however maintains he won the poll and should be allowed to govern.