National Assembly speaker Jacob Mudenda has ordered parliament to withhold allowances and also deduct associated costs from CCC legislators who all boycotted President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s opening address in parliament Tuesday.
Opposition lawmakers elected on a CCC ticket in August this year all snubbed Mnangagwa’s State of the Nation address, which also marked the opening of the first session of the country’s tenth parliament.
CCC MPs travelled to Harare from different parts of the country but remained in their hotels in protest over “Mnangagwa’s illegitimacy”.
The party argues the Zanu PF leader manipulated the August 23 poll to stay in power at the expense of its leader Nelson Chamisa.
But Mudenda, a Zanu PF politician, pulled rank Tuesday and ordered sanctions on opposition lawmakers.
“It is therefore clear that that there have been some violations of those Standing Orders,” Mudenda said of parliament’s internal governing statutes.
“Members of CCC have to come to Harare after parliament was summoned by His Excellency, the President and have stayed in hotels and have been given and facilitated their travel to Harare.
“Therefore, there have been violations of these Standing Orders and in terms of powers vested in me as Speaker, I instruct the Clerk of Parliament to ensure that CCC members will not receive their coupons to go back home.
“Secondly, their stay in hotels at the taxpayer’s generosity and commitment will be deducted from their salaries.
“I further request the Leader of Government Business to look into the Political Parties Finance Act to find out whether further sanctions cannot be applied.”
The sanctions arguably marks the first punitive stance taken by the Zanu PF dominated legislature since the opposition chose boycotts as a form of protest against alleged poll fraud by the Zimbabwean leader.
Previously, the former MDC would break into loud singing as Mnangagwa went through his addresses in parliament.
There was drama in the previous parliament when police stormed the august house chamber to wrestle opposition lawmakers one after the other out of the house in dramatic scenes that were captured live on state television.