“You’re useless” – Mliswa slams Zanu-PF MPs for passing Patriotic Bill
Outspoken Norton legislator Temba Mliswa called Zanu-PF MPs “useless” for passing the draconian Patriotic Bill which seeks to criminalise “wilfully damaging the sovereignty and national interest of Zimbabwe.”
Zanu-PF MPs supported by MDC-T legislators, this week, used their two thirds majority in Parliament to pass the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Amendment Bill (Criminal Code).
Commentators said the clause referred to as the Patriotic Act is likely to orchestrate violation of freedom of expression and association while containing harsh punishment for people charged under it.
In the latest video shared on his Twitter handle, Mliswa declined to participate in the voting process. He accused Zanu-PF MPs who were prepared to vote for the bill of being “useless” and wasting taxpayers’ money.
“As for me, as an independent MP, I will pack my bags and go. Let history be known that I was not part of this. This is a waste of taxpayers’ money. No wonder why some of you did not come back, you’re useless. No wonder why you were voted out, you’re useless. You did nothing to this Parliament,” he said before he walked out of the National Assembly.
Mliswa further accused the Acting Speaker and Parliament admin staff of deliberately not following due procedures in order to allow the bill to sail through.
“The frenetic desire to cloth the passing of the Patriotic Bill as a democratic outcome of Parliament betrays the details which show multiple procedural misdemeanors committed by both the Acting Speaker and Parliament Admin staff all in a bid to pass the law by hook or crook,” he said.
“I and the present CCC (Citizens Coalition for Change) members had resolved to abstain while Zanu-PF and (Douglas) Mwonzora’s compromised political outfit, MDC-T, collaborated for the birth of this awkward law. At some point one needs to separate themselves from such soiling actions.
“A decision had actually been made that there was no point or need to vote as the process leading up to the passing of the Bill had been flawed. However Zanu-PF wouldn’t have it. In that situation you abstain or walk out, as I did. You don’t participate by voting either way!
“In a scenario where there are compromised personalities there is no principle or dignity to protect the institution’s integrity. That ultimately builds to the weakening of the whole institution. For example the Parliament Administration was being told what to do by politicians.
“Then we had Acting Speaker Mavetera calling for the division of the House, a decision which had been raised by no-one and then falsely accusing Hon Madzimure of raising the issue! It was just a Mafia style where power rode roughshod over proper Parliamentary conduct and processes.”
Mliswa noted that he wanted history to remember that he was not part of the process which is likely to give birth to a draconian law.
“You don’t want to be part of such proceedings and that is why I walked out. At least history will exonerate me that I wasn’t part of the shameful action. Zanu-PF has continuously abused its two thirds majority by passing unsavory laws.
“Most of them are merely political weapons against perceived opponents. You can’t build a country like that, crafting legal instruments for political opponents. It’s a limited approach to politics because one day the seats of power will have different players.
“Though we concede that indeed Zanu-PF has the benefit of a Parliamentary majority but then at least follow due process. It was clear from the beginning that they would pass the Bill yet there was still a lot of manipulation of processes.
“On the day when they were few they actually contrived to defer the voting. It’s sad how we continue to plumb new depths for our country. These political parties are becoming a real problem more so with recall powers they have. The legislators are simply being dragged along,” he said.