Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Speaker of the National Assembly, Advocate Jacob Mudenda yesterday ordered the forfeiture of MDC-Alliance legislators’ allowances as punishment for boycotting a sitting in which Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube presented the Mid-Year Budget Review Statement and Supplementary Budget.
The presentation was also attended by President Mnangagwa.
Adv Mudenda’s punitive measure followed a complaint raised by Buhera South MP Cde Joseph Chinotimba (Zanu-PF), who sought to know what Parliament would do to opposition legislators who disrespected President Mnangagwa by boycotting yesterday’s session.
Cde Chinotimba said it was strange that the opposition legislators refused to recognise President Mnangagwa yet they were clamouring for Parliamentary vehicles whose release can only be approved by the Head of State and Government.
In his ruling, Adv Mudenda said the MDC MPs were barred from further attending yesterday’s sitting and that they would have their allowance for the day forfeited.
“Accordingly, as head of this institution, I rule that the honourable members of the opposition shall not be allowed to attend Parliament today, including after His Excellency the President has gone. Related to that, their allowances for today shall not be paid. So I have ruled,” said Adv Mudenda.
He said it was critical to note that in terms of the Constitution, the Legislature was constituted by Parliament and the President as Head of State and Government.
Adv Mudenda said the leadership of President Mnangagwa had been recognised locally, regionally and internationally, including by the United Nations and African Union, and no country had refused to recognise him.
“There are two issues that I want to put on record. Firstly, His Excellency is the Head of State and Government and there is lack of some understanding. He is the Head of State because he is the embodiment of the sovereignty of the people of Zimbabwe without any exclusion or discrimination and his uncontested position as Head of State has been recognised by the United Nations and the international community, let alone the African Union. We have not had any country under the sun that has not recognised the President,” said Adv Mudenda.
“In terms of Section 116 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the legislature consists of Parliament and the President, meaning the President, institutionally, is part of the legislature and that position has to be respected.”