via Parly Speaker reads riot act November 8, 2013 by Veneranda Langa NewsDay
SPEAKER of the House of Assembly Jacob Mudenda yesterday read the riot act on MPs saying he would not hesitate to suspend them from the services of the House if they continued disrespecting the office of the Speaker.
This followed some childish pranks and un-parliamentary language that were exhibited by MPs across the political divide this week which forced the Speaker to continuously warn legislators that he was going to chuck them out of the House and to make rulings on their bad use of language.
Mudenda said there was now a tendency in the House whereby some MPs attended sittings in the House and at committees improperly dressed, while some passed childish remarks as the Speaker was leaving his chair after the House was adjourned.
On Tuesday, Kwekwe Central MP Masango Matambanadzo (Zanu PF) caused a storm in the House when he alleged MDC-T MPs used to urinate in food plates and pots while at university and that they had attended “mafia intelligence” lessons from the Western countries.
The same day as the Speaker was leaving his chair, an MDC-T MP passed a remark, saying: “The Speaker has left the chair and so there is no Speaker” — a comment Mudenda said he swallowed with distaste as it was disrespectful of the chair.
“I note the reluctance or refusal by some MPs to observe customs, rules and decorum or precedence of the Speaker or other persons presiding and I wish to draw MPs to standing rules and orders 46 (i) and (ii), 54, and 74,” the Speaker said.
“I am explaining these standing orders so that MPs are guided accordingly because already I have noticed at various occasions that there are three MPs who, as the presiding officer leaves the chair, they make some noise and one announced as I left the chair that ‘the Speaker has left the chair and so there is no Speaker’,” Mudenda said.
The standing rules and orders that Mudenda referred to deal with attire of MPs and obeisance as they pass to and fro the seat of the Speaker. The orders also touch on respecting the chair as the Speaker’s procession is coming into or leaving the Chamber, as well as silence in the Chamber so as not to interrupt debate.
“Failure to take this warning or advice will result in the Speaker invoking standing order number 79 that any member who disregards the authority of the chair or persistently or willingly disrupts the business of the House commits an offence for which he or she may be suspended from the service of the House,” Mudenda said.
The Speaker also ordered Matambanadzo to apologise for his utterances, which he did.
Meanwhile, there is bad blood between MDC and Zanu PF women over the appointment of Manicaland senator Monica Mutsvangwa (Zanu PF) as chairman of the Women’s caucus to be deputised by Mufakose MP Paurina Mpariwa (MDC-T).
MDC-T’s Dorcas Sibanda and MDC proportional representation MP Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga said they were not present when Mutsvangwa was clandestinely elected by Zanu PF women.