Drama as MP ‘assaults’ fellow legislator

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Drama as MP ‘assaults’ fellow legislator 25 January 2015

There was drama in the Lowveld town of Triangle last Friday when Bikita South National Assembly Member Jappy Jaboon was allegedly assaulted by his Chiredzi West counterpart Darlington Chiwa after the former barred him from attending a meeting between the Zanu-PF Masvingo provincial leadership and sugarcane producer Tongaat Huletts management, The Herald reported.

A high-powered delegation comprising senior ruling party officials in Masvingo led by Politburo members Josaya Hungwe and Shuvai Mahofa, Central Committee and provincial executive members, war veterans and traditional leaders was on a tour of the Lowveld to tackle problems affecting the region.

Chiwa allegedly teamed up with war veterans from Chiredzi and manhandled Jaboon, who is the provincial secretary for the Commissariat, accusing him of blocking the Chiredzi West parliamentarian from attending a closed-door meeting.

Sources said Chiwa wanted to force his way into the meeting where he had been barred, arguing that he was supposed to witness proceedings since he was the Member of Parliament for the area.

However, Jaboon allegedly blocked him at the entrance resulting in the Bikita South parliamentarian being assaulted outside the venue.

Jaboon did not sustain visible injuries, but promised to make a report against his Chiredzi West counterpart at the end of the Lowveld tour later in the day.

It could not be established whether Jaboon had reported the alleged assault to Triangle police by yesterday.

When The Herald arrived at Tongaat Huletts offices, the situation was tense with baton-wielding police officers milling around. A few other officers were manning the entrance into the boardroom where the meeting was taking place.

Jaboon accused Chiwa of disrespect after the alleged assault.

“Chiwa assaulted me with a gang of thugs he hired to come and disrupt our meeting. He should learn to respect fellow party officials instead of trying to impose himself everywhere. I am going to press charges of assault against him,” he said.

However, Chiwa denied assaulting Jaboon saying it was shocking that he was barred from attending a meeting to discuss developmental issues in his constituency. Tongaat Huletts sugarcane mills and cane plantations in Triangle falls under Chiredzi West Constituency.

“I never assaulted him (Jaboon), he is lying. We only argued after he stopped me from attending the meeting. Who is he to stop me from attending a meeting to discuss development in my area?” he charged.

“If the provincial leadership has instructions that I am no longer wanted as ZANU-PF Member of Parliament in Chiredzi West, they must tell me, not to block me from attending meetings to discuss developments in my area,” added Chiwa.

Acting Masvingo provincial police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Kudakwashe Dhewa said his office had not received a report involving Chiwa and Jaboon in Triangle.

ZANU-PF acting Masvingo provincial chairman Paradzai Chakona condemned the alleged attack on Jaboon saying it showed disrespect for senior party members and traditional leaders who were attending the meeting.

“I encourage Jaboon to go and file a report to police. What happened is totally unacceptable. How can people fight each other over simple issues? It is shameful and must never be repeated,” he said.