Chombo taken to task after saying Gukurahundi is a non-issue


HON. GONESE:  Mr. Speaker Sir, my point of order is that the words which the Minister is using – Mr. Speaker, we must be very sensitive when we are in this august House.  I believe that when an Hon. Minister talks of someone’s catchment area, I am not clear as to what he is trying to insinuate because we have got an Hon. Member who is the Vice President of the Movement for Democratic Change – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – Yes, she is the Vice President and she has raised a question.  She is also the leader of the official opposition in this august House and she has raised an important and pertinent issue.

It is an issue which touches on the nation of Zimbabwe because the issue of Gukurahundi has been acknowledged to have been a mistake by His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe.  The supplementary question raised by the leader of the opposition, who is an Hon. Member of Parliament is a national issue.  In his response, I believe that the Hon. Minister should not belittle Hon. Khupe or to denigrate or do something which undermines the integrity of the Member who has asked the question.

I therefore ask that the question of a catchment area or the use of the words ‘catchment area’ should be withdrawn.  Mr. Speaker Sir, we are waiting for him to explain and clarify as you asked him to do and he is compounding the error when he started talking about it being a non-issue, it is what caused the problem.  Now he is compounding the error by making reference to a catchment area.  What does that mean Mr. Speaker?

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Can you switch off your microphone please?  Hon. Minister, I think the word ‘catchment’ creates some sensitivity, if it could be withdrawn please.

HON. DR. CHOMBO:  Mr. Speaker Sir, under your wise counsel, I withdraw the word ‘catchment’.

HON. MANDIPAKA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. HOLDER:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.

*HON. ZWIZWAI: Mr. Speaker Sir, the Minister cannot withdraw the word ‘catchment’ only.  He should withdraw the words, ‘catchment area’.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  I asked the Minister to withdraw the word and I am asking the Hon. Minister to further explain. Thank you – [AN HON. MEMBER:  MDC irikutiitira noise, we cannot hear.] – Order, order.  I have ruled that the word catchment is sensitive and the Hon. Minister has withdrawn.  That is my ruling and I cannot go further than that.  I am now asking the Hon. Minister to explain himself – [Hon. Mandipaka having stood up on a point of order.] – Sit down please, sit down.  We cannot go on like this.  Can you allow the Hon. Minister to respond.

HON. MLISWA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, my point of order is that there are Members of Parliament who are standing.  There is Hon. Shumba and the other two at the back, they are afraid to sit on empty seats because they will be expelled from the Party – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Chamisa, please allow the Minister to explain himself.

HON. HOLDER:  Mr. Speaker Sir, these people are making noise, we cannot hear what is being said – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

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The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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