MDC legislators publicly heckled party vice president Elias Mudzuri Monday for attending a State House event presided over by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The opposition party’s vice president was however defiant, declaring in a statement that “if am wrong and they are right, I would be proud to be fired from the party”.
In line with Parliamentary rules and orders, the Senate President and Speaker of Parliament, along with their deputies, presented themselves to President Mnangagwa at State House on Monday.
Mudzuri said he attended the event at the invitation of the Senate President in my capacity as the leader of the House.
Outraged MDC colleagues, among them Charlton Hwende and Murwisi Zwizwai confronted Mudzuri over the issue at a post-budget event for legislators in the capital.
In a video widely shared on social media, Hwende and Zwizwai hectored Mudzuri, demanding to know why he was the only MDC legislator to attend the event.
“What were you doing at State House? You are endorsing Mnangagwa; you and to State House and endorse him after he rigged the elections,” charged Hwende.
Zwizwai added; “Our MPs were beaten up by the police and ejected from Parliament last week because of Mnangagwa but you are attending his event at State House.”
The MDC has refused to recognise Mnangagwa’s victory in the July 30 elections, accusing the Zanu PF leader of rigging the vote with the connivance of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
During last week’s presentation of the 2019 budget, the opposition party’s MPs refused to rise as Mnangagwa entered parliament and were forced out by the police.
The MPs said they were beaten up by the police as they were ejected from the House with two of them being hospitalised afterwards.
Mudzuri was defiant however, accusing his colleagues of playing “petty politics”.
“It is with sadness and unfortunate circumstances that my fellow junior parliamentarians would want to play petty politics on something that is part of my terms of reference as a party deployee,” he said in a statement.
“My confusion to all this stems from the fact that, if what I did was ‘illegal’ to my fellow parliamentarians, then I want to understand what we are still doing in parliament as a Party and wasting taxpayer’s money.
He rejected suggestions by Hwende and Zwizwai that his presence at State House represented an endorsement of Mnangagwa.
“I went to State House not to appease President Mnangagwa, but to respect the office of Parliament,” said the former Harare mayor.
“If am wrong and they are right I would be proud to be fired from the Party because I represented the Party in Parliament business.
“It’s sad that my very colleagues, were fully engaged in parliament business at HICC on post budget consultations, a budget presentation that saw MPs under attack from police. What hypocrisy!”
He added; “I believe that I went to State House not to betray anyone; nor did I do it nicodemusly, but in the full knowledge of my colleagues who then faked theatrical accusations.
“The nation is faced with acute economic challenges under a failed leadership of Zanu PF. That must be our focus, but to abuse my person this way is very unfortunate.” – New Zim