By Anna Chibamu
ZANU PF MPs who are members of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee on Friday reportedly walked out of chairperson Tendai Biti “questioning his legitimacy”.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) oral evidence hearing from Sakunda Holdings at Parliament failed to take off after Biti who doubles up as Harare East MP and MDC vice president’s chairmanship of the committee was brought into question by Zanu PF’s Dexter Nduna in retaliation for the opposition’s rejection of President Emmerson Mnangagwa as legitimate leader of the country.
According to Independent Norton MP Temba Mliswa, Nduna raised the issue on why Biti could be allowed to chair the committee meeting when he had failed to recognise President Mnangagwa as legitimate leader of the country.
“Nduna raised the point how he committee could be chaired by someone who did not recognise the President and it was a valid point. Biti would have none of that and he decided to adjourn the meeting,” said Mliswa.
An angry Biti claimed the hearing proceeded.
“That is rubbish. There was no one who walked out. The meeting went on,” the MDC vice president said.
In the last 12 months since last year’s election, MDC MPs have refused to recognise Mnangagwa and walked out on the Zanu PF leader twice before Thursday’s budget snub.
Mutare Central MP and MDC Secretary for Justice and Legal Affairs Innocent Gonese issued a statement on Friday castigating the Speaker Jacob Mudenda who promised to deal with the opposition party legislators for allegedly snubbing President Mnangagwa.
“The MDC MPs were not in attendance due to genuine issues that had been highlighted to the Speaker of the National Assembly but which he decided not to disclose for reasons best known to him,” said Gonese in his statement.
MDC secretary general Charlton Hwende wrote on his twitter handle Thursday saying MDC MPs had already participated fully in the budget process.
“We are now waiting for the debate in Parliament. Today (Thursday) budget presentation does not change anything attending and following on TV is exactly the same. No debate is allowed or conducted today. It is all optics for Emmerson Mnangagwa,” said Hwende.