CIO Deployed to Block ‘Mugabe Must Go’ Speeches in Parliament

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Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe has deployed his private army, the Central Intelligence Organization to stifle growing calls for him to leave office due to his corruption and mismanagement of the economy, old age and failing health.

Last week, speaker of parliament, Zanu PF de facto chairman and CIO mole Jacob Mudenda sparked controversy when he ordered Movement for Democratic Change Chitungwiza North MP Godfrey Sithole’s statement during debate that Mugabe must resign or, he put it, “go on holiday forever”.

Another CIO operative, Melody Dziva plunged the National Assembly into chaos as she repeatedly disrupted the debate by Binga North MP Prince Dubeko Sibanda, who made the unequivocal call for Mugabe to be removed. The exchange went like this:

HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Madam Speaker for allowing me to debate for the first time this year, again the first time on the Presidential Speech since I came to Parliament. I am going to concentrate mainly on economic issues raised by the President in his Speech. I am going to critically look at the 10-Point Plan and other economic views that he shared with us in that particular speech.

In doing so Madam Speaker, I am going to try and paint the economic situation that is currently prevailing in the country. I am going to try and identify the problem that has brought us to this economic situation that we are facing as a country. I am also going to try and proffer solutions; maybe that might not be in tandem with the 10-Point Plan and other views that were given by the President. I think it is important Madam Speaker that we indicate that Zimbabweans have economically suffered for too long. At times Zimbabweans begin to ask themselves about what it is that they have done to deserve such perpetual economic suffering for a number of uninterrupted decades – [AN HON MEMBER: Sanctions!] –

Madam Speaker, I think it is important for us to stop the blame game in whatever we do as a country. It is high time that as a country we look at ourselves and introspect where we have gone wrong and where we need to take corrective measures. It is not by mistake Madam Speaker, that countries such as Ethiopia, Mozambique and Kenya are thriving economically. It is not by luck that they are thriving economically. They are thriving because there are deliberate policy decisions that are taken by the people and its leadership to ensure that they grow their economy; neither is it a mistake nor a misfortune that we find ourselves in the scenario that we are as a country. Similarly, the fact that the Republic of South Africa right now is facing serious economic volatility is not by mistake or misfortune. So, we will not develop because of luck as a country. We will not grow economically by luck as a country.

Before I proceed Madam Speaker, let me state that I had an opportunity to analyse the 10-Point Plan that was presented by the President in this august House. My conclusion is that the plan is far

away from being the panacea for economic growth in this country. It is such a weak plan that you cannot even grow the profit of a tuck shop if you use that kind of a plan. It is such a plan that even if you try to apply it to Alpha and Omega Dairy, it cannot get out of the current financial situation that it is facing.

What are the challenges that we are facing? Madam Speaker, I do not want to start somewhere far away from here. I want to start right here because charity begins at home. Madam Speaker, the economic situation of this country has seriously compromised the responsibilities and duties that Parliament is supposed to discharge. Let me explain why. The majority of Hon. Members that are here have become beggars and net borrowers – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – The majority of Members, we read in newspapers everyday that they are being sued for debts that they owe. The reason is that the majority of Members of Parliament are net borrowers and beggars and I will explain why I am saying so.

Since we were sworn-in in 2013 Madam Speaker, nobody in this House has ever received sitting allowances from Parliament. Madam Speaker, as a matter of right and not privilege, Members of Parliament are supposed to be given fuel so that they are able to go and service their constituencies. Right now as I speak, I am sure if there are Members of Parliament who are servicing adequately their constituencies, maybe they are those based in urban areas that are able to cycle within their constituencies and be able to see their members. Also, maybe those who were able to corruptly acquire wealth in this country during the time of looting spree that was taking place in this country but every other ordinary Member of Parliament is not able to adequately service their constituents.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Sibanda. I would like you to focus on your debate and also make sure that you substantiate whatever you are alleging to other Members of Parliament that you claim have been acquiring their wealth through corruption. I want you to withdraw that – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

Order, order! I want you to withdraw that because you do not have the evidence.

HON. P.D SIBANDA: Madam Speaker, I suggest that you make your judgement after I am done with my debate because I am actually going to justify and substantiate whatever I am saying. Whatever I am debating here is as factual as possible.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Do you have anything on paper right now so that whatever you are alleging, you can submit it to the Hansard Department? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – If you do not have it, I want you to withdraw.

HON. P.D. SIBANDA: Madam Speaker, can I substantiate corruption activities.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I am saying you have generalised that statement. If you do not have anything written on paper as evidence, I would want you to withdraw that.

HON. P.D SIBANDA: Let me substantiate that.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Are you challenging me?

HON. P.D SIBANDA: No, I am not challenging you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Can you please withdraw and you can then continue with your debate. Withdraw your statement.

HON. P.D SIBANDA: Madam Speaker, can you allow me to substantiate my statement.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Go ahead.

HON. P.D SIBANDA: Madam Speaker, if you want me to substantiate on the issue of corruption that there are Members who could have acquired wealth corruptly in this country, I will refer you to basically two issues. Two or three years ago, the Anti-Corruption Commission of Zimbabwe had obtained warrants to go and search into offices of two members of Cabinet who are Members of Parliament on allegations that in that search they were going to confiscate material which was going to prove that they were involved in corruption. Those members of the Anti-Corruption Commission were barred from getting into the Ministers’ offices. They were also arrested and prosecuted for

trying to prove corruption. Therefore, what I am saying is not farfetched.

Secondly Madam Speaker, it is only a few months ago when we heard that a Cabinet Minister improperly collected $100 000 from PSMAS. He claimed that he had returned that money when facts on the ground indicate that he did not return the $100 000 – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Madam Speaker, in a very honest and patriotic manner, let us not try to hide corruption under the cover of ‘withdraw, withdraw’. We have to say things as they are – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – This country has suffered for too long when a few are benefiting out of national resources of this country.

Madam Speaker, let me be honest and say these days I am very much ashamed to be addressed as honourable because there is nothing honourable about being a Member of Parliament any more. What is honourable when I have to go and beg for money in order for me to travel to my constituency because I do not have fuel? What is honourable about me if I have to go and borrow each and everyday for

the love of going to see how my people are suffering in the constituency? What is honourable about that? Madam Speaker, this is a very clear indication that the economic situation in this country is not good and we need to go beyond the 10-Point Plan.

The situation does not only affect Members of Parliament. I can go to my colleagues, the Hon. Ministers. The majority of Ministers, especially those that were not able to loot are poor. They are poor Ministers as we speak. The majority of Cabinet Ministers that were not involved in any looting spree are poor Ministers. If you look at them, you can see their frustrated faces. They are hungry faces.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member! Sit down. Hon. Sibanda, when you are presenting your facts, please try not to be too emotional about these things. Try not to use hard language when describing other Members of Parliament. Cabinet Ministers are also Members of Parliament. So, let us just respect each other in the House please.

HON. P.D SIBANDA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Cabinet Ministers are not very miserable but obviously they are poor. Madam Speaker, I am not speaking this from nowhere. I interact with Hon. Ministers; the majority of them are my colleagues, we are of the same age, G40 – [Laughter] – Not in terms of faction, but in terms of age.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order! Let me warn you for the last time. If you do not take this House seriously, I will not allow you to continue with this debate. Please withdraw your statement that you have recently said and concentrate on the facts of your presentation.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Madam Speaker, I am not sure exactly what you want me to withdraw? It is unfortunate that the term generation 40 has become associated with poisonous politics of Zimbabwe, what I am…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon Sibanda, stop defending yourself and just withdraw what you said.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA: I withdraw Madam Speaker. What I was trying to say is that my interaction with Hon. Ministers has actually shown that there is no business anymore that Hon. Ministers are doing because they do not have the resources. They are simply going to offices to sit and wait for salaries which might not even come. That is how the situation is in the country. Soldiers – I am not talking about the foot soldiers, the privates and so on, I am talking of generals. They are not happy; they are complaining that the economic situation is not good. The Justice system and its personnel are complaining and businesses have folded – that is the current situation. I cannot talk about the common person who is down there in Binga, who is down there in Ngezi. People are suffering and we need to seriously look into how we can grow this economy.

Then the question becomes what is the problem? Why has our economic situation deteriorated to this level? Some will blame Hon. Chinamasa as Minister of Finance and Economic Development but I think that is not correct, we cannot blame him; he has done his best

under the circumstances. We cannot blame Hon. Chinamasa, he is a saint, he is a good person, and he has tried his best to save his country. So, where is the problem?

Madam Speaker, a country just like a company has got a Chief Executive Officer, and the responsibility of the Chief Executive Officer of a company is to ensure that he adds value to the investment of the shareholders and if they fail to do that they are fired. In this country the Chief Executive Officer is His Excellency, the Commander in Chief, the Chancellor of all Universities. You can say all the titles that you want to say but he is the Chief Executive Officer of Zimbabwe, and the entire responsibility to ensure that the economic welfare of the people of Zimbabwe is improved lies solely on his shoulders. If things are not ticking, it is his blame. The bark stops with him.

He is the one who appoints Cabinet Ministers, some who are not performing. Some of the Cabinet Ministers are non-performers. If we were going to access them on a point of 10, most of them fall far much below 5. Actually, I am told some Cabinet Ministers are already

sleeping – [Laughter] – He is the one who fails to take action when corruption thrives. Up to now the Chief Executive of Zimbabwe has not explained to Zimbabweans where the over $2bn worth of diamonds that came out of Marange went to and he is silent about that, for him everything is okay. He is the one who has been consistently presiding over inconsistent policies, policies that are disastrous to economic growth. He has done that constantly, so he is…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Sibanda. According to Standing Order Rule No. 93 (1), Section B, the use of the name of the President irrelevantly in debates or for the purpose of influencing the House in its deliberations – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – I repeat do not unnecessarily use the name of the President in your presentation in order to influence the debate in the House. This is now allowed.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA: I have not used the name of the President; I have mentioned the Office of the President. He is the Chief

Executive Officer of this country and he is the one that submitted this speech that I am debating today.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Sibanda. I will not allow you to continue doing that, trying to pretend as if the Office of the President is not the President – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- You are talking about the current President and you are not allowed to use his name to influence the debate. Just go to your debate and talk about the economy of the country.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Madam Speaker…

HON. MUNENGAMI: On a point of order Madam Speaker.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?

HON MUNENGAMI: Madam Speaker, I find it hard that we debate a speech that was presented by the President in this House and do not talk about the President. So, what it means is that the speech that was presented by the President must not be debated because we cannot avoid talking about the President because he is the one who delivered it. I think the hon. member is within his rights to talk about the President

and actually he must mention the President by name because we have one President in this country. I thank you Madam Speaker.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Madam Speaker, I…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, hon. member your time is up – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –

HON. MUNENGAMI: On a point of order Madam Speaker.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: There is no more point of order! His time is up!

HON. MUNENGAMI: On a point of order Madam Speaker.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?

HON. MUNENGAMI: Yes I rise Madam Speaker to extent the time the Hon. Member is debating. Thank you Madam Speaker.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Is there any objection?

HON. D. TSHUMA: I object Madam Speaker.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order! Order! Is there any objection?

HON. D. TSHUMA: Point of order Madam Speaker. I have been given the floor. Sit down! I have been given the floor!

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order! Order! -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

HON. D. TSHUMA: You do not have the floor you sit down!

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order! Everyone sit down! Hon. Member sit down! Order! Hon. Sibanda sit down! Hon. Sibanda sit down! Order! Order Hon. Members! Can you behave yourself? This is not a beer hall! Order! Sit down. Hon. Members from my right side and my left side can you please maintain order in the House! This is not a shabbeen or a beer hall! Order!

Firstly, I am addressing the first order that was given and after that I will address the second order. I am still addressing the first order that was raised by Hon. Munengami. I said is there any objection and I recognised Hon. Tshuma.

HON. D. TSHUMA: Thank you Madam Speaker for your protection..

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members.

HON. D. TSHUMA: Yes I object to the extension of his time.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order! Order. I am doing the procedures of Parliament. I will raise your order later on. Hon. Sibanda Order! Hon. Sibanda I said I am still addressing the first order. After I am done with it I will take the next order.

In terms of the Standing Orders I do hereby divide the House. Order Hon. Members. The amended Standing Orders state that the fact that there is an objection by a Member of Parliament means that command is final. So, is there any further debate?

HON. P.D. SIBANDA: Do not tell me rubbish! Point of order!

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I cannot allow him to have a point of order because he was the one debating.

HON. P.D. SIBANDA: Madam Speaker, I think you are abusing your powers.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?

HON. P.D. SIBANDA: Madam Speaker, in a very honest observation this is our country in which all the leaders that are here are chosen in order to protect the interest of the generality of the 15 million Zimbabweans. While I was debating you interrupted me several times and you did not take that opportunity – [inaudible interjections]- madam Speaker you interrupted me several times and that time of your interruption I am sure was taken into consideration. My point of view Madam Speaker is that …

HON. ZWIZWAI: On a point of order.

HON. P.D. SIBANDA: Your ruling is going to stifle my right to debate as a Member of Parliament. I just want to indicate Madam Speaker that you are wrongly interfering into my right to debate as a Member of Parliament. I had not done the twenty minutes or 30 minutes

that is required. You spent almost half of that period of time that was meant to be mine, interrupting me.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Members from the right side and from the left side. This is the last time I am going to give these warnings. I am going to take action. Thank you Hon. Sibanda we have heard your point of order.

HON. ZWIZWAI: On a point of order.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order! I will not entertain any other point of order.

HON. ZWIZWAI: I did not recognise you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members! Order Hon. Members, Hon. Sibanda. Do not force me to take the hard action because I will do that. Order! Hon. Members!

HON. ZWIZWAI: Thank you Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker the issue that I want to raise is a small issue. If you look at our clock there it has two lights before the Clerks at the Table there is one that is

darker red light and an orange light. So those lights reflect the time that the Hon. Member has and the red light indicates that his time has elapsed. So what happened is that no light went on. We knew we were in the middle of addressing the one who was debating. So for that reason we would want to go back to what the law says that if it has not reflected the members should be given time. This does not need us to go and seek the services of a witch doctor. There is nothing that you can tell us Hon. Mupfumi. Some of you Hon. Members have very little portfolios and you cannot come here and tell us some of these issues. May be Hon. Zhuwao, if he speaks we can listen to him because he visits the State House more often than any other. Thank you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Members from my right side and my left side, please behave like Hon. Members in this House. I have heard what Hon. Zwizwai has raised and what I want to say is that the clock that you are talking about reflected. Whoever says “ah-h” this time, I will request the Serjeant-at-Arms to escort you out of the House. So, this issue shall be laid to rest.

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