Zanu PF MPs walked out on a motion in parliament that could have compelled government to do more to find missing journalist and pro-democracy campaigner Itai Dzamara and give material support to his unemployed wife Sheffra and two young kids.
Speaker of parliament Jacob Mudenda, who blocked the debate on March 9, the one-year anniversary of Dzamara’s disappearance, approved it the next day but slated it for 5:15 pm, by which time nearly all Zanu PF MPs had left the chamber.
There was no quorum and the debate had to be abandoned after bells were rung for seven minutes in an unprecedented move.
The government has made spirited attempts to block any public discussion of Dzamara’s disappearance, which has attracted worldwide attention and sparked a diplomatic row between president Robert Mugabe’s government and the West. Dzamara disappeared after launching street protests and petitions to force Mugabe to give up power for failing to run the economy.
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