MDC-A MPs acknowledge Mnangagwa Presidency

Prosper Mutseyami

MDC-Alliance legislators have acknowledged President Mnangagwa as the leader of the country in their application at the High Court challenging Parliament’s decision to dock their allowances.

Court papers filed by MDC-Alliance MPs led by their chief whip, Mr Prosper Mutseyami, repeatedly referred to the Head of State and Government as “President of the Republic of Zimbabwe”.

The same MPs have constantly walked out of the chamber, arguing that they do not recognise President Mnangagwa’s election victory in the 2018 harmonised elections.

The opposition legislators have cited Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda and Finance and Economic Development Professor Mthuli Ncube as respondents in their suit challenging the decision to seize their sitting allowances for disrespecting the President.

An affidavit deposed by Mr Mutseyami in the High Court, clearly acknowledges President Mnangagwa as the Head of State and Government despite their much touted claim that he was not legitimately elected.

“On October 1, 2019, there was a joint sitting of the National Assembly and Senate, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe was scheduled to address the joint sitting of Parliament in terms of Section 140 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe,” said Mr Mutseyami in his founding affidavit.

“When the President of the Republic entered the Parliament chamber, some of the applicants remained seated. There is nothing in the Constitution of Zimbabwe or in the Standing Rules and Orders which require Members of Parliament to stand up when the President of Zimbabwe enters or leaves the Parliament Chamber.

“When the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe was about to give his speech, First Applicant’s members who are Members of Parliament and who comprise second to 111th applicants walked out of the Parliament chamber.”

Mr Mutseyami said they walked out of the chamber in protest of the failure by President Mnangagwa whom they again acknowledged as leader, to address economic challenges.

“Applicants were also demonstrating against the country’s economic meltdown which the President is not addressing,” said Mr Mutseyami.

The MDC-Alliance referred to President Mnangagwa as the leader in its main court application filed by the opposition’s lawyers, Mbizo, Muchadehama and Makoni legal practitioners.

“The first respondent (Adv Mudenda) who is the Speaker of the National Assembly was presiding over the proceedings of the joint sitting of Parliament,” they said.

“It appeared to first respondent that certain members of the first applicant (MDC-Alliance) and some of the respondents herein remained seated when the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe entered the Parliament Chamber.

“Further, that as the said President started to address Parliament certain members of the first applicant who are also respondents herein walked out of Parliament.”

The legislators have since the July 2018 general elections refused to recognise President Mnangagwa’s victory.

Parliament has since constituted a nine member Privileges Committee chaired by Mudzi South MP Cde Jonathan Samkange (Zanu-PF) to investigate the opposition legislators and recommend appropriate penalty. – Herald