. . . as Parly descends into chaos over COVID-19

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THERE was commotion in the National Assembly yesterday after Independent Norton legislator Temba Mliswa accused MDC MP for Mbizo, Settlement Chikwinya, of linking Vice President Constantino Chiwenga to coronavirus, the Daily News reports.

Issues came to a head when National Assembly Speaker Jacob Mudenda directed that minister of Health Obadiah Moyo presents a ministerial statement on government’s state of preparedness in dealing with the disease that has claimed over two thousand people globally so far.

Soon after Moyo promised to bring the statement tomorrow, Mliswa stood up on a point of order alleging that he had heard Chikwinya commenting that it was necessary for the minister to update the nation since Chiwenga was also in the august House.

“What is he implying when he shouted the VP’s name?

“He was implying that the VP has brought in coronavirus because he was receiving treatment in China and that is inhumane. It is disrespectful of the VP,” Mliswa claimed amid howls of disapproval from the opposition bench.
By the time Mliswa sought to take back his seat in-between MDC Hwange MP Daniel Molokele and Paurina Mpariwa (proportional representation), opposition legislators blocked him as they shouted at him.

Mliswa forced himself onto the two and ended up sitting on their laps shouting at the top of his voice that he was so strong that he could “deal’’ with all MDC MPs.

He had Molokele’s jacket torn — throwing the House into turmoil as business came to a halt for over 10 minutes with Mudenda struggling to bring the legislators to order.

In the meantime, Chiwenga — who was recently in China where he had gone for medical check-up after spending the better part of last year receiving treatment in the Asian country — remained seated quietly on the front bench.
Reacting to the allegations, Chikwinya denied that he had linked Chiwenga to the disease as he counter-accused Mliswa of seeking to malign the VP.

“The VP is a respectable member of this House and to insinuate that any mention of coronavirus is a reference to him is a show of disrespect on Mliswa’s part.

“I never linked the VP to coronavirus myself and I challenge the clerk to check with the Hansard. Should I be found to have said anything that links him, I am prepared to face the consequences,” Chikwinya said.
In the end calm returned to the House with Mudenda ruling that reference be made to the Hansard as suggested by Chikwinya while asking Mliswa to apologise to Molokele.

Last week, Moyo had promised to bring the coronavirus ministerial statement to Parliament this week amid fears that Chinese nationals coming into the country could spread it.

Moyo has also recently told the nation that more than 500 people are under surveillance of the coronavirus virus in Zimbabwe though there are no confirmed infections.

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