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Job Sikhala: I dare Mudenda to try it

By Job Wiwa Sikhala

In life when you see someone hating you without any cause or foundation you have got two or at most three options available to deal with the problem.

Job Sikhala
Job Sikhala outside Parliament

The first one is to ignore the bastard and go about your business without giving attention to the fool. Secondly, is reciprocity. Giving back in equal measure. The third one is not so important.

The deontological parcelling of reciprocity and business as usual attitude, that is, application of the two. The third option is born out of moral value system where human beings understand by nature that such people exist and are among ourselves on a daily basis.

Ignoring a hater is a model that has been used by the most successful in life. They don’t have space in their life for the narrow minded self-pain inflicting moron.

These are characters who do not want to be detracted from their dreams or goals in life by negativists popping up or around them in their lives. These are people who dream big.

People who turn a misfortune into gold. Those who keep the eye on the ball. This group of people avoid, people of negative mind disposition near them. They just greet you and pass. They avoid engagement in an meaningful debate with you nor need your advice in their dreams. This group is congested with the most successful ones in life. Their focus is to achieve the goal of their dream.

The reciprocity theorem, is derived from the old testament theological point of view. Eye for an eye. If you hate me, I hate you back ten fold. The bone of contention from the grounds that you hated me first without having injured you or crossed your path at all from the beginning.

I have been struggling for sometime now to locate which of the three options above deserve to be given to the Speaker of Parliament of Zimbabwe Jacob Mudenda in light of developments that have been taking place in recent past. In my three term periods as a Member of Parliament, I have had an experience to carry out my Parliamentary business under three different Speakers.

Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda
Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda

From 2000 to 2005, Emmerson Mnangagwa was the Speaker. From 2005 to 2008, John Landa Nkomo presided over Parliamentary business. Despite Emmerson Mnangagwa’s illegitimacy as the current head of the Executive, if you ask anyone who was in Parliament would tell you that he would not treat us, the opposition Legislators as trash.

Some of us were young and exuberant, but he avoided open hostility with whosoever was in Parliament. At no particular point would he give rulings that would have left the entire civilised world in shock. John Landa Nkomo was carefree. Would allow diversity to manifest. Would not frown at the existence of the opposition or trying to appease Mugabe with ridiculous rulings which are not supported by any Standing Orders and Rules of Parliament nor any statute or law.

The conduct of business in Parliament was in full conformity with the doctrine of separation of powers. The Legislature is an independent arm of government as confirmed by the Founding Values and Principles of the Zimbabweans constitution and is governed in terms of its rules called the Standing Orders, as the judiciary is governed by its own rules of the Court from the Magistrates Court rules to the Constitutional Court rules.

The Standing Orders and Rules of Parliament have been couched in the manner to be in tandem with international best practices where Parliaments should be protected from the inquisitive appetite of the Executive to overreach its authority.

It is reported that the Speaker of the Parliament of Zimbabwe ruled that he is going to punish the MDC MPs who absented themselves from Parliamentary business on the day of budget presentation by Mthuli Ncube. Sometimes, you feel like laughing and then you will come to the conclusion that, this is not a laughable joke or a laughing matter at all.

I dare Mudenda to try it. Under which rule of Parliament or a constitutional violation or which Statute of Zimbabwe is he depending upon to make such silly rulings. Even judgement of the Courts including those of the Constitutional Court which is the highest Court on the land, are prone to intellectual scrutiny and criticism so as to avoid the tyranny of the judiciary.

The devoid view by the Speaker that his rulings are not subject to criticism are without foundation in the jurisprudence of Parliamentary democracy. Decisions that frown on our constitution will not be let go and must be dealt with as they come. Of the two thirds of ZANU PF MPs in Parliament a quarter of them have been absenting themselves from Parliament all way round.

Ministers who in terms of the Constitution and the Standing Orders should present themselves for question time, have been absenting themselves without leave ad infinitum. MPs only appear when the 21 consecutive days is about to clock and we never heard Mr Speaker Sir raising a finger or him talking of punishing them.

The Parliamentary attendance register shows that a large number of ZANU PF MPs are not attending Parliament. They only come when Mnangagwa is coming to show face. And this Speaker of ours make such obsequious rulings based on the laws of the jungle and try to turn Parliament into a Stone Age forest.

Some of us who are adherent disciples of the rule of law and constitutionalism will resort to reciprocity if the Speaker becomes the center of converting Parliament into an institution breaking the constitution of Zimbabwe. He must not create his own rules to seek appeasing his masters in the Executive.

I have discovered that the Speaker hates all tenets of democracy and does not respect upholding the fundamental rights enshrined in our constitution. Gloves are off for reciprocity Mr Speaker.

If his misapplication of the law is based on his political ambitions in his political outfit he must be warned that as legislators we are not going to fold our arms when he wants to use his abuse of our fundamental rights as a ladder to the pinnacle of his political ambitions.

These political ambitions can only be fulfilled is he demonstrate to his master Mnangagwa that he has been dealing with the MDC MPs on his behalf.

Such is cheap politics. The era of abusing certain segment of the society is late in this 21st century. This will be resisted. Enough is enough Mr Speaker Sir.

Job ‘Wiwa’ Sikhala is the MP for Zengeza West and the Vice National Chairman of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).