NORTON legislator, Temba Mliswa (independent) caused a storm in Parliament yesterday, when he proposed that war veterans should dump Zanu PF for neglecting them, adding that the proportional representation (PR) quota for women must be shared among war veterans and people living with disabilities.
He further angered female MPs, when he said most PR MPs that came through the 60 free seats were bench-warmers.
Mliswa made the remarks while contributing on a motion on the welfare of war veterans introduced by Mutasa South MP, Irene Zindi (Zanu PF).
“The opposition has been very vocal than Zanu PF in addressing the plight of war veterans and war veterans must take cognisance of that and support the political parties that support them,” he said.
“Former President Robert Mugabe was their patron for 37 years, but he did nothing for war veterans and now after he was ousted, we hear that he was not in the liberation war and that while others were fighting he was getting educated, and that is why he speaks better English than them.”
Mliswa said the revelations that Mugabe is not a war veteran need to be followed up on, adding that all war veterans must go for proper vetting.
He then turned the gun on female MPs saying: “We have a PR quota for women in Parliament, but most of them sat and never said anything, so the PR quota must be divided with the other 20 seats going to war veterans and 20 to the disabled.”
House proceedings were disrupted for about 10 minutes, as irate female MPs shouted that he was a misogynist.
Harare West MP, Jessie Majome (MDC-T) said: “Mliswa’s conduct denigrates female MPs, and, yet, we have privileges to be accorded our dignity. If Mliswa has nothing to debate, he must not take cheap steps to gain political mileage.
“He must respect women because he was born by a woman. At night you look for us women, yet at Parliament you insult us. We gave birth to you,” Bulawayo East MP, Thabita Khumalo shouted.
Mliswa left the House with women hurling insults at him.
Binga South MP, Prince Dubeko Sibanda said when Mugabe was being removed from power, war veterans joined the march, only for President Emmerson Mnangagwa to give positions to people from the army and forgetting war veterans.