via MP thrown out for reading novel by Staff Reporter NewZimbabwe 03/10/2013
BULAWAYO South MP Eddie Cross (MDC-T) was thrown out of Parliament on Thursday after reading a novel during a debate on the President’s Speech.
The Deputy Speaker Mabel Chinomona interrupted a speech by Zanu PF’s Daniel MacKenzie Ncube to give Cross his marching orders.
“Order! Honourable Cross is reading a novel, can you please stand up and I will send the Sergeant-At-Arms to escort you so that you read the novel outside this House,” the Deputy Speaker said.
The Sergeant-At-Arms escorted the red-faced Cross outside as MPs fell about laughing.
Chinomona called for order again: “Order! Order Honourable Members! Honourable Mackenzie you can resume your debate.”
The Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda has been warning MPs against breaking the House etiquette and decorum – from walking across the House when an MP is debating, the use of mobile phones to failing to stand when he walks in.
During a debate on Wednesday, Mberengwa East MP Makhosini Hlongwane (Zanu PF), was also escorted out after the Speaker saw him on the phone.
Mudenda said: “Order! One of the announcements I made as we started business, I said, we must switch off our cell phones. Honourable Hlongwane was entertaining a call in this Honourable House. I therefore request the Serjeant-At-Arms to escort him out of the House.”
It was a theme Mudenda returned to before opening Thursday’s debate – but this time he said he was giving MPs a final warning.
“May I make this other announcement, Honourable Members, do not test the patience of the Chair and the Chair’s accommodation, especially when we advise that members should switch off their cellphones before business commences,” he told MPs.
“I don’t want to see a repeat of what happened yesterday [Hlongwane incident]. I will not make further announcements about switching off cellphones when we next sit. It must be taken as a Standing Order.”