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Mudenda Faces Backlash Over Blocking Opposition Lawmaker

Jacob Mudenda
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Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda is under fire for preventing opposition CCC lawmaker Gladys Hlatywayo from addressing a point of national interest concerning President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s controversial remarks about Zambia during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mnangagwa’s comments, which described Zambia and Malawi as American client states, have heightened tensions with Lusaka and spotlighted diplomatic sensitivities as Zimbabwe prepares to assume the Sadc chairmanship in August. Despite constitutional provisions allowing citizens to raise such issues, Mudenda intervened, stating that foreign affairs fall under the executive’s jurisdiction, not Parliament. This decision has sparked criticism from those who believe it undermines parliamentary oversight.

Academics and observers have intensified their criticism of Mudenda, accusing him of reducing Parliament’s role to serve the ruling ZANU-PF’s interests. They argue that Parliament should use its portfolio committees and constitutional mandate to scrutinize and hold the executive accountable, especially in foreign policy and diplomatic matters.

Mudenda’s blocking of Hlatywayo’s inquiry is seen as part of a broader trend where parliamentary oversight is restricted, particularly amid political maneuvers that have factionalized the opposition CCC and seen it influenced by ZANU-PF alliances.

Despite Zimbabwe’s constitutional framework, which emphasizes the separation of powers among the executive, legislature, and judiciary, there are growing concerns about the erosion of parliamentary independence and its ability to effectively fulfill its oversight role.

Critics contend that Mudenda’s actions exemplify executive dominance, hindering democratic accountability and transparency in Zimbabwean governance.

This episode highlights ongoing challenges within Zimbabwe’s political landscape, where constitutional principles often clash with practical limitations on parliamentary authority and independence.

Source: Newshawks