By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |
The Parliament’s Privileges Committee, chaired by Mudzi South Zanu PF MP Jonathan Samkange has fined Z$400 000 each to 118 sitting and former MDC Members of Parliament and senators while Job Sikhala and Settlement Chikwinya have been made to pay an additional Z$800 000 each bringing their fines to Z$1,2 million for disrespecting President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The committee also intends to make sure that the opposition legislators lose their diplomatic passports.
Narrating the events as they transpired in Parliament, Sikhala took to his microblogging Twitter handle to claim that the MDC Alliance MPs “were never given the right to defend themselves but where asked to appear before a committee wholly constituted by Zanu PF MPs.”
“Yesterday Jonathan Samkange presented a Report on the Parliamentary Privileges Committee which he was chairing and found 108 MDC Alliance MPs guilty of not standing up when Emmerson Mnangagwa came to Parliament. All MPs were fined level 12 of the fine but myself and Settlement Chikwinya were made to pay that fine of Z$400 000 and another one of level 14 which is Z$800 000 to make it a total of $1.2 million for an additional charge of contempt of Parliament,” Sikhala said.
The Zengeza West MP added that the Mnangagwa’s regime game plan is to Amend both the constitution and the Standing Orders and Rules of Parliament to prohibit anyone found guilty by its committee not to contest and become a Member of Parliament again in their lifetime.
“Level 14 of a fine is the highest threshold of a fine. It is given to those found of serious criminal offenses that require punitive fines. The MPs are remunerated some paltry salaries and allowances that will take the sitting Members of Parliament their entire term of office without remunerating the figure of the fine.
“Secondly, Members of Parliament were never given the right to defend themselves but were asked to appear before a committee wholly constituted by ZANU PF MPs. No adherence to the principles of natural justice that requires every individual to appear before an independent tribunal. Furthermore, MPs were never served with the charges they were supposed to respond to.”
Sikhala added: “Their right to be heard was never granted by the partisan committee whose verdict was known beforehand. Even though the fine imposed induces a sense of shock that on application for review of the same no reason Court will uphold such a scandalous verdict.
“So as it stands no Member of Parliament elected on the MDC Alliance ticket in 2018, will be allowed to stand again to become one in their lifetime. When we talk of evil, this is evilness in full motion. But let the people of Zimbabwe be reassured, that fighting for our freedom will never be deterred by the antics of a desperate dictatorship.” Nehanda Radio