New Zim crackdown: Editor held
19/05/2004 20:50 -
Harare - The editor of Zimbabwe's only independent Sunday
arrested late on Wednesday with one of his reporters for
an article on the killing of a mining company
The May 16 report said family blamed unidentified "senior
officers" for last week's shooting.
Six police arrived on
Wednesday at The Standard's Harare offices demanding
that editor Bornwell
Chakaodza and reporter Valentine Maponga accompany them
for questioning, said
deputy editor David Masunda.
"They were told it would take only a few
minutes, but when they got there,
they were arrested," said
Police were not available for comment.
The arrests are
part of a heavy crackdown on dissent in Zimbabwe.
previously edited the state-run Herald, was dismissed from
that newspaper in
June 2002 after publishing editorials criticising the
often-violent seizure of thousands of white-owned farms for
Since his appointment at The Standard last year,
Chakaodza has been arrested
six times for allegedly defaming the government
and its employees.
He has so far not been tried on any of the
Zimbabwe series in crisis as rebels rule out
Wed May 19, 2004 8:51 PM HARARE (Reuters) - The
threat to Zimbabwe's
home test series against Australia grew on Wednesday
after a group of
leading 'rebel' players said they did not feel "physically
or mentally fit
enough" to take part.
The players, involved in a
bitter dispute with the Zimbabwe Cricket
Union (ZCU) over team selection,
said they would make themselves available,
however, for a later one-day
series against the world champions. Their
proposal has been sent to the
"In terms of the proposal, the players will go back to
will make themselves available for the one-dayers against
they don't feel they are physically or mentally fit enough to
play in the
test matches," Chris Venturas, the rebels' lawyer, told
That decision puts further doubt on this month's tests
The International Cricket Council (ICC) is
to hold an emergency
meeting on Friday to discuss whether to strip the
two-match series of its
test status, just 24 hours before the start of the
first game in Harare.
The ICC fears Zimbabwe, without its rebels,
will field a severely
weakened side unworthy of playing at the highest level.
earlier on Wednesday that they would return home if the
Fifteen of Zimbabwe's leading white
players refused to play last month
after accusing their selectors of allowing
politicians to dictate the
make-up of the side and of rushing young black
players into the side before
they were ready.
The ZCU, which
follows a policy of promoting black players to reflect
population, first offered to negotiate but then lost patience
and sacked the
It fielded a young, largely black side which was
by Sri Lanka 5-0 in a one-day series and 2-0 in the
Two test players in neighbouring South Africa backed the ICC
"Zimbabwe have had their problems, but if you
don't put our best team
on the field you are taking the mickey out of test
Mark Boucher told Reuters from Cape Town.
All rounder Jacques Kallis added: "You want proper tests, you don't
play against second-rate sides."
The ZCU has further frustrated the
ICC by inviting its chief executive
Malcolm Speed to address them in Harare
this week over the issue, then
barring him from the meeting at the last
The rebel players are also sticking to their demand for
over Heath Streak's loss of the Zimbabwe captaincy, which
the row with the ZCU in April.
The board had
announced that Streak, one of the rebels, had retired
from all cricket only
for the fast bowler to issue a denial.
New Zealand Herald
Cricket: Zimbabwe rebels ready to
HARARE - Zimbabwe's white rebels last night
decided to make themselves
available to play again, but have run out of time
to meet Australia in the
upcoming test series.
Just a day after the
rebels gave up on representing their country again, the
players declared they
would make themselves available for the three proposed
against Australia next month.
Players' spokesman Grant Flower confirmed
the development, but said the
players had given up on playing in the test
The group, including deposed captain Heath Streak, have decided
to pursue a
new avenue of action and yesterday met Charles Robertson, a
Robertson will approach the Zimbabwe
Cricket Union on the players' behalf
and also planned to meet chairman of
selectors Stephen Mongongo.
But the group is unlikely to be considered
for the two tests against
Zimbabwe's second-string side -
thrashed by an innings in each of the two
recent tests against Sri Lanka -
are likely to be named today to take on the
[the rebels] are not ready mentally and physically to play Australia,
they do want to play cricket again," said Clive Field, a representative
Mongongo said any Zimbabwe player of international standard
considered for selection.
Zimbabwe coach Geoff Marsh welcomed
the news, but conceded the players would
struggle to be ready to play
"It's going to be hard for them," he said.
needed this a week ago."
While the players' careers may be getting back
on track, cricket in Zimbabwe
is in disarray.
The stand-off between
the two parties - over the rebels' concerns about team
selection policies -
has put doubt on whether the two scheduled tests
against Australia will be
played, and if they are, whether they will be
given test status.
presidents of the International Cricket Council's 10 test-playing
will vote on the issue in a telephone hook-up today, 24 hours before
first match is due to start.
If seven of the 10 presidents vote to strip
the matches of their test
status, it could mean either Australia stay in the
country and thrash a
Zimbabwe X1 in a pointless farce or consider going home,
as Ricky Ponting's
team were reluctant tourists from the start.
Australian cricket team have gone to Zimbabwe to play test matches
one-day games," Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said.
they are not going to play those, then I'm not sure if it's appropriate
us to be here."
The debate about suspending Zimbabwe's test status
will also come up in the
ICC meeting because of the debacle of the Sri Lankan
The crisis began last month when the Zimbabwe board announced
one of the few world-class players in the team, had resigned as
retired from all cricket after complaining about the selection
Sydney Morning Herald
Rebels make themselves available for one-dayers but
tour is looking doomed
By Chloe Saltau, in Harare
Most of Australia's bewildered cricketers played golf on Wednesday.
including Jason Gillespie and Matthew Hayden, went fishing, and
McGrath went to a game reserve outside Harare.
They seemed as worthy
pursuits as any for a group of players whose common
question amid the circus
that has broken out in place of their cricket tour
has become: why are we
Just days before the first Test is scheduled to begin, no one knows
answer. As Zimbabwe's white rebel players made themselves available
one-day matches only - although this decision was far from being set
stone - there seemed to be increasingly little point in the Australian
Australia's tour match, in which they bowled out
Zimbabwe A for 151 and then
cruised to 448, was called off before tea on the
second day, an indication
that nothing more could be gained from the
thoroughly uninspiring affair.
No one wants to play Tests against a team
of club-standard kids, nor do they
want to hang around and play first-class
games in their place. That would be
an even bigger farce.
the Tests with one-day internationals is untenable because it
nightmarish logistical problems for Cricket Australia, which
would need to
rush to have one-day specialists Michael Clarke, Andrew
Symonds, Brad Hogg
and Shane Watson released early from English county
why Australia will most likely be on the first plane home if seven
out of 10
presidents of ICC member countries vote to strip the matches of
Cricket Australia could argue its players are not obliged to
come back and
play the postponed Tests later because they were here and ready
to play, and
the Tests were jeopardised through no fault of their
The ZCU insists the schedule of two Tests and three one-day
is set in stone.
"As far as we are concerned we are
pressing ahead with the Test matches as
scheduled," said chairman Peter
Chingoka, who said he had kept in contact
with Cricket Australia chairman Bob
Merriman on the issue. When it was
pointed out that Zimbabwe's two losses
against Sri Lanka were among the top
dozen worst defeats, Chingoka said:
"Well that's fine, so you do have a
record of 10 others that are worse or 12
others that are worse."
Unfortunately, these losses were not an
apparition; there is no sign that
without Heath Streak and his comrades
Zimbabwe will competitive again in the
that ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed had been locked out
of a ZCU board
meeting, despite a statement issued by ICC president Ehsan
decision by the ZCU to withdraw its invitation to Speed was
The truth is Speed was furious, and the attitude of member
particularly the Asian nations, has hardened against Zimbabwe if
are not available.
Whether or not the tour goes ahead could
hinge on Merriman's vote on Friday.
In the past Australia has been reluctant
to offend Zimbabwe.
The rebels met Zimbabwe's provincial stakeholders on
Wednesday and, having
gained an undertaking that their issues would be
addressed at a grassroots
level, declared they wanted to play again. But they
said they were not
physically or mentally ready for Test cricket and did not
wish to be
considered for the Australian Tests. Awaiting a response from the
trained privately on Wednesday.
A representative for the
rebels, Clive Field, said: "Malcolm's presence in
the country certainly has
acted as some kind of a catalyst and I think he
probably had words yesterday
which made it clear this thing can't be allowed
to continue for much longer,
otherwise Test cricket could be over in this
Colombo, a threat by Muttiah Muralitharan not to tour
Australia next month
has unnerved Sri Lankan cricket authorities, who are
pressuring the off
spinner to reconsider.
"If Murali decides he is not going to Australia it
will be one heck of a
challenge for us," Sri Lanka captain Marvan Atapattu
said. "It will be a big
struggle trying to contain the strong Australian
batting line-up without
Cricket greats say come home
By Nabila Ahmed, Trevor
Marshallsea, Bevan Eakins
May 20, 2004
Zimbabwe should be stripped
of its Test-playing status and the Australian
team should return home
immediately from Harare, according to former
Australian cricket greats and
exiled Zimbabwean player Henry Olonga.
Former Australian Test captains Greg
Chappell and Kim Hughes, bowlers Dennis
Lillee and Kerry O'Keeffe and
wicketkeeper Ian Healy were among the voices
expressing concerns about the
state of Zimbabwean cricket, which has been
left with a second-string Test
team after the Zimbabwean Cricket Union last
week fired 15 senior players for
opposing their racially based selection
criteria. The 10 members of the
International Cricket Council are meeting by
telephone hook-up tomorrow and
if, as expected, at least seven members vote
against Zimbabwe, the two Tests
are likely to be downgraded.
Cricket Australia's sub-committee on
international cricket, headed by CA
chairman Bob Merriman, held a crunch
meeting last night to discuss the
position it will present at the
If the Tests are downgraded, Australia is expected to
pull out of the tour.
"The Australian cricket team has gone to Zimbabwe to
play Test and one-day
cricket," said CA chief executive James
"If we're not going to play that, then I'm not sure whether
appropriate for us to be there."
Hughes said the Australians
should come home.
"Absolutely. I think it's a farce and if you're not
good enough to play Test
cricket, then you're not good enough to play
one-dayers. End of story."
Speed demon Lillee and Olonga
"They went there on the understanding they were going to play
If the goalposts have moved, what's the point of being there?"
"I'm sure they would have no problem about returning home
and they would be
within their rights to do so."
Olonga said: "I'd
imagine that if the ICC is to avoid a farce, and if the
ICC is going to have
any credibility, they're going to call this tour off."
Olonga gave the
ICC measured praise for "finally" swinging into action, but
said it was
regrettable the vote had been prompted by fears of another
outcome on the cricket field for Zimbabwe's second-string side,
for moral reasons.
"The motives for (tomorrow's) meeting are not as pure
as they could've been
. . . but I'm glad it's happening and I hope they call
it off. Any
reasonable, intelligent person will know that this tour shouldn't
Former Australian Test spinner O'Keeffe last night criticised
to send the team to Zimbabwe in the first place, and said the
ICC had "again
sat on their hands".
"I don't think we should have
gone. Even at the time (when the team left),
the circumstances looked very
poor," O'Keeffe said.
"For years a lot of former players have put the
slipper into the ICC for
good reasons. Again they seem to have sat on their
hands . . . The ICC has
to intervene to preserve the integrity of Test
That feeling was echoed by Chappell. "We can't afford to have
of Test cricket denigrated from within. I think that's got to be
protected," Chappell said.
He also called on sport to lead
the way in bringing justice to Zimbabwe,
saying an apartheid-style boycott of
the nation was the only way to resolve
the problem that resulted in the 15
white players striking.
"I think the whole thing needs to be resolved.
Until it is resolved, I think
the only way to deal with it is to take away
"Unfortunately, I think it's a wider issue than cricket.
The only similarity
I can think of is South Africa 30 years ago and really
the only way it could
be sorted out was through change of politics, a change
of attitudes at that
His brother Trevor, also a former
Australian Test player, said the ICC would
have to suspend Zimbabwe and set
the ZCU a criteria to meet before being
allowed to play Tests
"It will be tragic for Zimbabwean cricket but I think they should
suspended. I think suspension is better than banning them straight away.
guess it puts some pressure on to Bangladesh, although they seem to
improving," said Trevor, a former coach of Bangladesh.
if the meeting decided to strip the two Tests of their status,
should come home immediately.
Hughes and Lillee said the ICC should
re-examine its policy of nominating
minnow nations for Test status. "To be a
member of the ICC, one of the
criteria should be that the national team is
picked on merit," Hughes said.
"If a country is not picking its team on
merit, it should forfeit its
membership. It's very simple."
said there should be a prompt review of the situation.
"I'm not being
unkind to the minnows, but the idea of promoting them was
designed to fill
space on pay TV," he said. with West Australian
Courier Mail, Brisbane
Meeting to decide cricket tour fate
Crutcher in Harare, cricket
ANGRY cricket nations are on the verge
of an unprecedented move to save the
credibility of Test matches by scrapping
Australia's series against rogue
most influential cricket officials are preparing to withdraw
Test status from
the series when the International Cricket Council board
meets tomorrow, less
than 24 hours before Australia is set to play Zimbabwe
is believed Asian powerbrokers India and Sri Lanka will vote together
the likes of England and South Africa in a rare show of unity in
complicated political landscape.
Seven of the 10 nations must agree for a
decision to be carried.
International sources believe enough officials
will vote against the series.
If Test status is withdrawn, Australia
would be unlikely to play any
pointless first-class matches.
Australian cricket team has gone to Zimbabwe to play Test and
cricket. If we're not going to play that, then I'm not sure whether
appropriate for us to be there," Cricket Australia chief executive
Cricket Australia is expected to vote for Test
status to be withdrawn
although the body has wrestled with a
The ZCU made a belated move last night to
save the series with a panic peace
deal offered to the rebel players, who
have maintained a hardline stance.
Lawyers Ask Zimbabwe to Extradite Suspected Mercenaries
19 May 2004, 15:54 UTC
Lawyers representing 70
suspected mercenaries held in Zimbabwe are
taking legal action against the
South African government to force it to
intervene on their client's
The 70 men are all citizens of South Africa.
lawyers say they filed papers with the High Court in South
Pretoria, Wednesday. They are asking the court require the
government to seek the suspect's extradition.
The lawyers are also
requesting the court to stop the 70 men from
being extradited to Equatorial
Guinea. Zimbabwe has accused them of plotting
to overthrow the government of
Zimbabwe has not said whether or not it will
extradite the 70 suspects
to Equatorial Guinea, but it has recently revised
its laws allowing it to do
The 70 suspected mercenaries were
arrested in March after their plane
landed in Harare. They have been charged
in Zimbabwe on several counts,
including immigration and aviation
They have denied the charges, saying they were headed
Democratic Republic of Congo to provide security at a
Some information for this report provided by AFP and
Fuel Price Goes Up
The Herald (Harare)
Posted to the web May 19, 2004
THE price of fuel
has gone up over the past week with some filling stations
selling petrol at
around $3 500 a litre following a surge in oil prices
filling stations have, however, maintained lower prices of between $3
Recently diesel and petrol were selling at between $2 700 and $2
According Fuel Facts, an update produced by the oil industry and
business organisations, the increase was a result of a surge in oil
"This has been necessitated by surging oil prices
worldwide. Motorists are
reminded that a single US one cent increase in the
pump price of fuel
translates into an increase of $300 per litre," Fuel Facts
"As oil prices continue to rise, this will ultimately lead to an
the price of fuel in Zimbabwe and motorists are urged to adopt
Zimbabwe's Legislators Criticized For Clash in Parliament
19 May 2004, 17:21 UTC
Movement for Democratic Change and civil rights
activists have criticized
legislators for a verbal and physical clash in
parliament on Tuesday. During
the session, a government minister verbally
attacked a white member from the
opposition, who lost his temper and pushed
the man and another government
minister to the ground.
The Crisis Coalition, which represents most
in Zimbabwe, called the clash "despicable."
The group said the members of
parliament are not giving national issues the
serious attention they
deserve, and are not providing a good example to the
country's young people.
Opposition legislator Paul Themba Nyathi
criticized his colleague Roy
Bennett for pushing the two government ministers
to the floor, saying he
should not have lost his temper. But Mr. Nyathi also
Minister Patrick Chinamasa for his sharp verbal attack
that precipitated the
incident. Mr. Nyathi said it was the worst racial
barrage he has ever heard
in the chamber.
During the verbal attack,
Mr. Bennett pushed Mr. Chinamasa to the floor, and
in the ensuing scuffle
another minister, 69-year-old Didymus Mutasa also hit
ruling ZANU-PF party criticized only Mr. Bennett, with no mention of
harsh comments by Minister Chinamasa. Mr. Chinamasa said Mr. Bennett
suffer for the crimes of his ancestors, and would never return to his
Government supporters took over Mr. Bennett's farm in
April as part of
Zimbabwe's controversial land reform program, in spite of
more than 10 court
orders allowing him to stay.
During the period
leading up to the confiscation, many of his workers and
including young children, were regularly beaten, and many
rapes took place on
his farm. Mr. Bennett himself has been repeatedly
arrested and tortured and
barricaded inside his house, and his wife's
pregnancy was ended by one
After the incident in parliament, Mr. Bennett said he
had simply lost his
temper, and said he was not proud of what happened. But
he did not
Mr. Bennett, who is white, is particularly
despised by members of the ruling
party, in part because he won his
parliamentary seat in an area where
Zimbabwe's liberation struggle against
white rule began. Now that he has
been evicted from his farm, he may not be
eligible to run for parliament
from that district in the next election,
scheduled for next year.
Mr. Bennett is to be brought to parliament for a
disciplinary hearing. If
found guilty he could be suspended, fined or
WFP Workers Strike
The Herald (Harare)
Posted to the web May 19, 2004
WORKERS at the World
Food Programme office in Zimbabwe have gone on strike
demanding a salary
The workers began the strike on Monday and The Herald
understands that they
are demanding a salary increase backdated to
It is understood the workers' salaries were way below of their
working for other Untied Nations agencies.
sources, the strike was also precipitated by the fact that the
announced that it would not renew the workers' contracts
The WFP is a UN humanitarian agency involved in food
relief distribution to
When The Herald visited the WFP's
offices in Belgravia, a security guard who
only identified himself as Dennis
barred it from entering the premises.
"You are not allowed to enter into
the premises," he said.
By midday yesterday, the workers could be seen
basking in the sun.
They broke into song and dance when an official tried
to address them.
Efforts to get a comment from both the workers and
management were futile as
they refused to talk to the Press.
Zimbabwe's Claim Of Bumper Harvest "Fantasy" - UK Min
Copyright © 2004, Dow Jones Newswires
U.K's minister for Africa Wednesday criticized
Zimbabwe's rejection of
emergency food aid, calling the government's
predictions of a bumper harvest
"We hope that Zimbabwe is heading for a good harvest,
but we believe
that the predictions being made are fantasy and could result
in hunger for a
very large number of innocent Zimbabweans," Chris Mullin said
on a visit to
neighboring South Africa.
recently ordered three crop assessment teams
from the United Nations' World
Food Program and Food and Agriculture
Organization to stop a survey of rural
areas, saying its own forecasters
expected a 2.4 million metric tons maize
harvest this season.
Zimbabwe's figures were contradicted by The
Foundation, an independent German think tank, which predicted
a harvest of
up to 900,000 tons, about half of what is needed.
President Robert Mugabe's often violent seizure of thousands of
farms for redistribution to black Zimbabweans, coupled with
has crippled the country's agriculture-based economy.
The WFP is
currently feeding 650,000 Zimbabweans a month, down from
about 5 million at
the height of the lean season early in the year.
Zimbabwe's former colonial ruler, is the second largest
contributor to WFP
feeding programs in the country after the U.S.
"We hope that Mr.
Mugabe's government will allow the World Food
Program to continue feeding
that part of his population which his government
appears to be unable to feed
unhindered," Mullin said at a news briefing in
Mullin flew to South Africa on Tuesday for meetings with the country's
deputy foreign ministers, political leaders and representatives of
Among the issues discussed were the establishment
of a new
international commission aiming to tackle the continent's woes,
poverty, conflict and HIV/AIDS.
U.K. Prime Minister
Tony Blair launched the Commission for Africa in
February, and it held its
first meeting in London earlier this month.
The U.K. will next year
hold the chairmanship of the Group of Eight
leading industrialized nations
and the presidency of the European Union, and
Mullin said it intended "to put
Africa very high on the agenda."
He expressed particular concern
about the conflict that has driven
close to 1 million people from their homes
in Sudan's western Darfur region,
calling it the "most serious humanitarian
crisis in Africa at the moment."
He demanded an end to the "huge
violence," the disarmament of
government-backed Arab militias that have
terrorized black Africans,
unrestricted access for humanitarian agencies, and
the deployment of
independent observers to the region.
continues Thursday to neighboring Mozambique for a two-day
visit, which will
include talks on the country's upcoming elections.
Review Anti-Graft Commission Bill, Parliament Urged
May 19, 2004
Posted to the web May 19,
SOME members of the public and representatives of
yesterday called for a review of the Anti-Corruption
Commission Bill, which
is currently before Parliament.
submissions to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign
Industry and International Trade during a public hearing on the
Monday, they called for a review of sections three, four, five,
nine and 13 of the Bill.
Section three deals with the establishment of
the commission, section four
deals with the appointment of members of the
commission while section five
and seven deal with the qualifications of the
chairperson of the commission
and conditions of service for
Sections eight and 13 deal with the disclosure of interests by
powers of the commission.
The deputy director of the Human
Rights Trust of Southern Africa, Mr Noel
Kututwa said the independence of the
commission should be emphasised.
There were concerns about the
independence of the commissioners since they
were appointed by the
Mr Kututwa said the appointment should be done through
Parliament or a parliamentary committee which would then
nominations to the President for appointment.
implies that Parliament or a select committee thereof is
desirable as an
oversight body as Parliament is representative of the
"This will make the vetting more transparent and lend
the commission the
necessary legitimacy," he said.
Mr Kututwa also
said it was important that the clause should reflect gender
stipulating that at least four of the appointees should be
stakeholders also called for the scrapping of age restrictions
commissioners, which has been set at 40 years.
Japajapa said age should not be a restricting factor since
examples of young people who are holding high positions in
"There are a lot of brilliant minds out there who are
under 40 years who
should not be prejudiced because of their ages," he
On the conditions of service for the commissioners, it was proposed
clause be altered to give Parliament or a select committee the role
setting conditions of service which would in turn be submitted to
Minister of Finance and Economic Development.
commission with the status of the Public Service Commission
or the Judicial
Services Commission can be setup.
"This is desirable because the
recommendations should be public documents to
encourage transparency," he
It was also proposed that in terms of section eight, which refers
disclosure of assets by commissioners, they should disclose their assets
Parliament as opposed to the President.
The stakeholders also
commended the Bill for specifying that the budget of
the commission would not
come from any line ministry, saying that this would
On the powers of the commission, it was felt that the
commission should be
accorded arresting and prosecuting powers to get around
the problems that
have been affecting the security agents and judicial
Mr Bobby Maguranyanga said the Attorney-General's Office could
not be relied
upon to effect prosecution given the high number of cases that
thrown out despite the excellent work that the police were doing
Consumer Council of Zimbabwe chairman Mr
Phillip Bvumbe said it was critical
to give the Commission prosecuting powers
since this would ensure the
successful prosecution of suspects.
would mean that there would be continuity since members of the
will be able to investigate and see the case through prosecution
the current system where cases are investigated by the police
and handed over
to judicial officers who then prosecute," he said.
Murehwa North MP Cde
Victor Chitongo said it was important to keep the age
restriction at 40 since
the positions called for mature people.
He also said that a clause should
be inserted in the Bill barring the
commission from fundraising since this
would compromise its impartiality.
SA and Britain both want democracy for Zimbabwe: Mullin
19, 2004, 16:52
Britain and South Africa appear to agree in principle, on
outcome of the Zimbabwean crisis. However, Chris Mullin, the
minister for Africa, says the two countries disagree on
Mullin met with movers and shakers from government and various
today. Facing the media this morning, he lamented Zimbabwe's
suspend food supplies from the World Food Organisation. This is
visit to South Africa.
Zimbabwe heavily relied on food aid
in the recent past. But this year the
Zimbabwean government expects a good
enough maize harvest to feed the
starving population. "The Zimbabwean
governments predictions are fantasy ...
and could result in hunger for a very
large number of people," said Mullin.
Mullin said South Africa and
Britain both want to see a democratically
elected government in Zimbabwe. He
admitted that they differ on strategy,
but he dismissed President Thabo
Mbeki's critics saying: "President Mbeki
has done his best, Mugabe and his
government are difficult customers."
On Britain's extradition request for
two citizens implicated in the
Equatorial Guinea coup plot, Mullin said there
is a legal process to be
Roy Bennet and the Minister of Justice Must Be Held
Accountable For Their Actions
MDC deeply regrets the
unfortunate incident that took place in Parliament yesterday involving
MDC MP Roy Bennet and
the Minister for Justice, Patrick Chinamasa. The
conduct of both legislators has brought Parliament into disrepute and both must
be held accountable for their actions.
Whilst the actions
of Roy Bennett are not to be condoned, neither should the abusive, demeaning,
hurtful, wicked, barbaric and provocative racial and personal slurs and insults
hurled at Bennett by the Minister of Justice. No parliamentary representative,
regardless of his political, racial or tribal background should be subjected to
the tirade of insults that Honourable Roy Bennet was
subjected to yesterday.
supposed to be a forum in which the important national issues of the day are
subject to sober and constructive debate by elected representatives. All
legislators, regardless of their political affiliation, have a duty to uphold
the integrity and moral authority of Parliament.
committee that is to be set up to investigate this incident must ensure that its
enquiry is non-partisan and not driven by a political agenda bent on
retribution. The enquiry must fully investigate the conduct of both legislators
and the circumstances that led to the incident in question. The terms of
reference of the inquiry must also include an investigation into why the
chairperson of committees failed to intervene and censure the Minster of Justice
for using racial and abusive language against a fellow legislator.
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