Proceedings in the National Assembly yesterday came to a standstill for nearly two hours after some rowdy CCC legislators blocked the ejection of 15 of their colleagues who were recalled from Parliament last week.
The Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda had notified the House of the recall of the 15 legislators from the opposition party after he received a letter from CCC’s interim secretary-general, Mr Sengezo Tshabangu that the MPs had ceased to be members of the party.
The 15 are Ereck Gono (Lobengula-Magwegwe), Nicola Watson (Bulawayo-South), Prince Dubeko Sibanda (Binga North), Febion Kufahakutizwi (Mabvuku-Tafara), Bright Vanya (Lupane East), Desmond Makaza, (Mpopoma-Mzilikazi), Obert Manduna (Nketa), Morgan Ncube (Beit Bridge West), Pastor Rafael Sibanda (Cowdray Park), Evidence Zana (Youth Representation), Janeth Dube (Proportional Representation), Sitabile Mlilo, (Proportional Representation), Nomathemba Sibanda, (Proportional Representation), Jasmine Toffa (Proportional Representation) and Velisiwe Nkomo (Proportional Representation).
Mr Dubeko Sibanda had just been sworn-in yesterday before being notified of the recall.
Advocate Mudenda told the House that he had received the letter of recall last week.
“I have to inform the House that on the 3rd of October I received a letter signed by Mr Sengezo Tshabangu signed off as interim secretary-general notifying me that the members had ceased to be members of the CCC,” he said.
He also told the House that the Constitution prescribes that if an MP elected on a party ticket ceases to be a member of that party his or her seat will become vacant.
The Speaker also said he had notified President Mnangagwa and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission of the vacancies as required by the law.
However, CCC acting chief whip, Mr Amos Chibaya rose in objection of the recalls saying Mr Tshabangu was not a member of the CCC.
“As the CCC leadership we did not recall any MP and the so-called Mr Tshabangu is not a member of the CCC and as the CCC we don’t have a secretary-general,” he said
Mr Chibaya also said they had informed Parliament in a letter written on September 11 that communication from CCC would be done through the office of the party’s president, Mr Nelson Chamisa.
However, Advocate Mudenda responded saying it was not his duty to adjudicate on the differences within the CCC adding that he was also guided by previous court rulings on similar cases.
Mr Dubeko Sibanda then also stood up to raise his objection, but was directed by the Speaker to sit down and he refused resulting in Advocate Mudenda ordering him to leave the House.
Mr Dubeko Sibanda once again refused prompting the Speaker to direct the sergeant-at-arms, Mr Phidmore Mapwanya to eject him sparking chaotic scenes as the CCC MPs prevented him from ejecting the legislator.
The situation then degenerated into song and dance which lasted for close to two hours as CCC MPs refused to leave the chamber forcing the Speaker to call in the police including anti-riot members to restore order in the House.
After normalcy was restored Advocate Mudenda said the CCC legislators would be suspended for six sittings and will not receive their salaries for the next two months.
“We all witnessed what happened, I gave the floor to Honourable Chibaya to address and it is wrong to challenge the Speaker’s ruling. Anyone not happy (with my ruling) should approach the courts and not to challenge the Chair,” he said.
This is the second time that the CCC MPs have faced disciplinary measures from Parliament since the beginning of the 10th Parliament session after the August 23 elections.
They were directed to pay for their stay in hotels and had their fuel and sitting allowance withheld after they boycotted the official opening of the 10th Parliament and State of the Nation Address by President Mnangagwa last week. Herald