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Jacob Mudenda under-fire for not being honest with Russian govt

Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda was on Wednesday accused of not being honest with the Russian government regarding the position of Zimbabwe on the Russia-Ukraine war.

On the 26th to the 30th of September, Mudenda led a delegation of MPs, who are members of the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, on a bilateral visit to Russia.

Zanu-PF legislator Webster Shamu who is the Chairperson of the Committee presented the report on their visit.

The report talked about the MPs’ tour of Russian historical moments and tourism institutions. It literally said little about the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Instead, it cited that Mudenda, when he addressed the State Duma thanked the Russian government for expediting peace talks with Ukraine. He did not condemn the war that is shaking economies all over the world.

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Accordingly, opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) MP for Marondera Central Caston Mateu accused the delegation of neglecting the truth. He said Mudenda was supposed to point out that Zimbabwe was neutral when it came to the Russia-Ukraine war.

He stated that the delegation needed to condemn the war at all costs because it is disturbing economies especially in Africa.

“I would have wished that the Speaker of this Parliament would have been very abrupt in his speech to the State Duma that Zimbabwe and indeed this Parliament is against any war, does not take any sides within the politics of Russia or the Eastern bloc and that we are absolutely neutral and all we want is peace so that the repercussions of the current war do not affect us as Zimbabwean citizens,” he said.

“We have seen how the prices of goods such as fuel are going up. There is currently a big crisis of fertiliser in this country. All this is because of the ongoing war that is currently happening in Ukraine.

“Yes Mr. Speaker, we do want sustained bi-lateral relations with Russia for I think they are of benefit to us as a nation. We also must tell Russia the truth about its actions in the global arena.”

Another legislator, Shakespeare Hamauswa who represents Warren Park said Zimbabwe was not benefitting enough from bilateral relations with Russia because its technology is not seen in the country.

“When are we going to end this praise and singing, just praising that we have all weather friends. Why are they not giving us technology?

“One day here it was discussed here that we have for example, Zimbabwe is known as a cattle country; we produce a lot of leather but we are not even able to produce leather belts or leather shoes, yet we are proud of having this kind of relationship with the big brother Russia.

“Where is Russia’s technology? We would want the technology also to be transferred to our country,” he said.

Uzumba Zanu-PF legislator Simbaneuta Mudarikwa shot back at Hamauswa and said: “I want to thank the mover of the motion Hon. Shamu and Hon. Masoka who seconded the motion. I also want to thank those who debated before me but also try to correct what they have said.

“Hon. Hamauswa said we are not making shoes; go to Bata there, we have the Bata Shoe Company, other indigenous companies and other people making shoes in Zimbabwe. If you do not personally like Russia, do not try to create a situation of confusion.”