ZANU-PF MP for Nkayi South Stars Mathe shocked legislators on Wednesday after she requested for an opportunity to wail over sanctions in the National Assembly in the middle of a debate.
This comes as Zimbabwe and Sadc will on Sunday mark the Anti-Sanctions Day after a declaration by regional member states last year to unite in the call for the unconditional removal of the “unjust” economic restrictions that have had a debilitating effect on the country’s economic development.
Mathe made the request to cry during Parliament’s question and answer session through a supplementary question to the leader of government business, Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, on what the executive was doing to help citizens who lost their jobs owing to coronavirus (Covid-19).
“Before I ask my supplementary question, allow me to cry because this week is meant for crying — mayibabo ngamasanctions mayibabo! My supplementary question Madam Speaker to the Honourable minister is what measures are you putting in place to make sure that those who have lost jobs are getting their jobs back and those who suffered extreme poverty due to Covid-19 are alleviated once the pandemic is over?” Mathe asked.
The request was met with sarcasm from MDC Alliance MP for Mbizo Settlement Chikwinya, who appeared puzzled and asked for a clarification after raising a point of order.
“Honourable Mathe made some noise and I thought I needed an explanation on what that meant. I took some time trying to figure out what the expression was and its relevance to Parliament.
“Can she be allowed to explain to us what she meant? It was like she was crying and I am not quite sure what the problem is,” Chikwinya said.
National Assembly acting Speaker Tsitsi Gezi explained that the majority of MPs had understood Mathe’s request as it was an expression of interest.
“As legislators, we have got a role to represent people and that is one of our mandates. Therefore, she was representing people in the call against sanctions,” Gezi said.
Yet Chikwinya did not relent on making a caricature of his fellow legislator, saying: “I was worried because I heard exactly the same cry last night at the hotel in room 306 so, I am not quite sure to whom she was referring”.
“I am not saying it was her crying — I am just saying there was a similar cry at the hotel in room 306,” Chikwinya said. This prompted Gezi to call Chikwinya to order and directed the opposition legislator to withdraw his words as they carried overtones of sarcasm, caricature and, therefore, un-parliamentary.
“When we are in this House, we believe that we are supposed to speak maturely. I understand those were your sentiments, but I do not think it will be good for you to be uttering words that can relate otherwise.
“I am kindly asking you to withdraw those words as much as it is something which happened which you are very much relating to but truly speaking, it leaves a lot to be desired. May you kindly withdraw those words?” Gezi said.