OPPOSITION MPs yesterday demanded an audience with President Robert Mugabe to discuss government decay, saying the Zanu PF leader was being misled over the true state of the nation by his divided Cabinet.
Source: Parly demands meeting with ‘misled’ Mugabe – NewsDay Zimbabwe February 1, 2017
BY VENERANDA LANGA
The call was made by opposition MPs, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga (Proportional Representation — MDC) and James Maridadi (Mabvuku-Tafara — MDC-T), as they were cheered on by Zanu PF legislators, who blasted Cabinet ministers for misleading Mugabe.
“We respectfully want the President to come to Parliament to meet with MPs without the Executive and we are going to be respectful, and if we do not respect him, we will respect his office,” Maridadi said, as the 10 ministers, who were present in the House sat stone-faced.
“If we speak to the President, I tell you, half of his Cabinet will not have jobs because they are corrupt, and if we do meet him, we, MPs, will give him the true picture of what is happening in the country,” he said.
Earlier, Maridadi had brought two blankets to the House, one manufactured locally by Waverly Blankets and another by a Chinese company, Qingshang, which he claimed was evading payment of duty with the blessing of an unnamed minister.
“The blanket from Waverly costs $30, while the one from Qingshang costs $23, but Waverly is fiscalised and pays taxes, while Qingshang is not fiscalised and does not pay taxes,” he claimed.
“Qingshang blankets are imported from China to Zimbabwe as fabric so that they only declare 40 cents per metre, prejudicing the government of the actual value.
“They used JJ Transport, which can be tracked by Zimra [Zimbabwe Revenue Authority], and when they discovered they were being investigated, they changed and used a Mozambican truck, but I alerted Zimra and they were caught in Marondera and they found it was carrying blankets, for which they paid $4 500 duty instead of $70 000.
“If the President knows the truth, he will be shocked. The owner of the Chinese company, Qingshang, is called Michelle, and when I went to her office, I found the minister in question with her. When [Finance minister Patrick] Chinamasa goes to Cabinet, he must tell the President and they will see the minister in question melting.”
Maridadi also took a dig at Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere and Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi, saying they travelled with bodyguards and convoys, yet the Speaker of the National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda, who has a higher post, did not enjoy the same privileges.
Misihairabwi-Mushonga said the country was now run down because of disunity in Mugabe’s government.
“What we have in this country is a President, who has been taken into captivity. Two days before he came, they were fixing potholes in Borrowdale pretending all was well, but opposition MPs will petition Mugabe to meet them behind closed doors,” she said.
Binga North MP, Prince Dubeko Sibanda (MDC-T) said Mugabe enjoyed travelling and rarely spent time in the country, hence, the rot.
Buhera West legislator, Joseph Chinotimba (Zanu PF) praised the opposition lawmakers for debating frankly and even moved for Maridadi’s allocated debate time to be extended after it had run out.
Chinotimba also challenged the government to be open about its bankruptcy and declare its inability to pay civil servants’ bonuses instead of trying to hoodwink them with stand offers.