ZANU PF yesterday slammed the MDC for whipping Glen View South MP Vincent Tsvangirai for saying Western-imposed sanctions were hurting ordinary citizens.
Tsvangirai, son to MDC’s founding leader the late Morgan Tsvangirai, said as a patriotic Zimbabwean, he felt that the sanctions were not targeted as claimed by the European Union (EU) and the United States, but were hurting ordinary Zimbabweans.
He said this during Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade led by Makonde MP Kindness Paradza (Zanu-PF) when a pressure group, Broad Alliance Against Sanctions, was giving oral evidence on Tuesday.
Broad Alliance Against Sanctions has people that have camped outside the US embassy in Harare since last year.
However, Mr Tsvangirai’s remarks drew the ire of his party which gave him an ultimatum to withdraw the statement, arguing that it was at variance with the party’s position.
In a statement last night, Paradza castigated MDC for allegedly victimising a legislator who was carrying out his parliamentary duties.
“In my capacity as chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, I would like to register my dismay at the way the MDC-Alliance leadership has gone out of its way to harass, humiliate and victimise, Hon Vincent Tsvangirai, the son of our late Prime Minister and MDC founding President, Morgan Richard Tsvangirai.
“It has come to my attention that Hon Tsvangirai is being victimised for speaking out against the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the US government and its allies,” reads a statement from Cde Paradza.
He said it was important to note that during the testimonies, other MDC members of the committee decided to walk out, with others tried to force Mr Tsvangirai to do the same, but he refused. Paradza said it was not only unfortunate, but shocking for the MDC-Alliance leadership to victimise an MP who was elected to carry out his parliamentary duties.
MDC-Alliance secretary-general Charlton Hwende directed Tsvangirai to retract his statement or face suspension.
“We have noted with dismay your utterances in the National Assembly on 17 March 2020 in which you claimed that American sanctions on Zimbabwe hurt the ordinary people.
“As a member of the MDC, you are expected to adhere to the party’s stance regarding sanctions, which is that they are helping Zimbabweans to overcome the ruthless Zanu-PF tyranny. . . .”