MEMBERS of Parliament yesterday castigated President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF for failing to accord Edward Chindori-Chininga with national hero status.
The Zanu PF politburo conferred liberation war hero status instead on the chairperson of the parliamentary portfolio committee on Mines and Energy who died in a freak car crash at Shinje turn-off in Guruve on June 19.
MPs across the political divide spoke highly of Chininga’s outstanding public service spanning over 20 years.
Lawmakers said making him a liberation war hero was a mockery to the immense work he did for the country.
MDC lawmaker Fani Munengami and Zanu PF MP Paul Mazikana led the debate, averring that he deserved a national hero status considering his work as former Cabinet minister, and a legislator for Guruve North for close to two decades.
“Being a legislator, he had showed that he did not support corruption,” Munengami said.
“He was in the forefront of highlighting that we need to have transparency and accountability in diamond mining.
“He brought the issue of diamond mining and Mashaba mines into the national limelight.
“He spoke without fear or favour on what is going on in the mining industry, helping to put the country on the world diamond market and he tried to hold the Executive accountable for their deeds. He is a true hero without a doubt.”
Felix Sibanda, MDC MP said Chininga was sidelined by his Zanu PF colleagues as he fought the liberation war under Zipra, the armed wing for Joshua Nkomo’s PF Zapu.
“Zanu PF had never accepted him because he came from Zambia and joined Zipra forces although he was from Guruve, he was never accepted by his party and this is why he is not declared a hero,” Sibanda said.
Parliament broke into song in honour of the late lawmaker after Munengami complained that Parliament had failed to provide transport for legislators to attend Chininga’s burial at his Mudhindo homestead in Guruve on Wednesday.
Mazikani said Chininga had started many developmental projects in his constituency and was working hard to ensure the children in his Guruve North Constituency were attending school.
Meanwhile, Eric Matinenga, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs minister, yesterday officially
announced the closure of the Seventh Parliament.
“This is the last supper for some of us here in this Parliament as we have come to an end of our legislative business until a new Parliament is sworn in,” said Matinenga.