At least 20 legislators walked out on Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube in Parliament yesterday protesting against his decision to expel Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Ms Nomalanga Khumalo from the MDC.
The walkout occurred when Minister Ncube was presenting two treaties to the House of Assembly for ratification.
Ms Khumalo was elected to the House on an MDC ticket in 2008 representing Umzingwane Constituency. When he stood up to move a motion for the ratification of a treaty between the Africa Carribbea Pacific and the European Union in which Zimbabwe is party to, MPs heckled him.
Some could be heard shouting “haana maMP” (his party does not have MPs) “akadyiwa maelection” (he lost in the election) with Ms Khumalo struggling to maintain order in the House. Some of the MPs then walked out in protest. Later in an interview, Kadoma representative, Editor Matamisa, (MDC-T) condemned Mr Ncube’s actions.
“She is the only woman MP from their party who was voted into the House and as a woman I am saying enough is enough,” she said. Mazowe South representative Cde Margaret Zinyemba (Zanu-PF), said Mr Ncube’s actions were against women empowerment.
“As a woman she fought politically to the stage where she became an MP and in Parliament became Deputy Speaker. We are struggling to get somewhere as women and then some power hungry men just pull us down,” she said. Mazowe North legislator Cde Cairo Mhandu, said Mr Ncube’s actions were tantamount to sexual harassment.
“What he did was sexual harassment, how can an appointed person fire an elected person?” he said.
MDC-T’s Zengeza West representative, Mr Collin Gwiyo, echoed similar sentiments.
“We are protesting the attitude that was shown to the Deputy Speaker. It was uncalled for and against women,” he said.
Ms Khumalo was dismissed from the Mr Ncube led MDC last week for allegedly siding with the MDC-T. She has also aligned herself with DPM Arthur Mutambara led MDC faction.
The smaller MDC factions split after a disputed congress early this that saw Mr Ncube being elected leader. The fight over control of the smaller MDC faction is still before the courts.