Three MDC MPs Defy Party Stance And Attend Parliament.
15 May 2020
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Justice Wadyajena

Three parliamentarians elected on the MDC-Alliance ticket yesterday defied a boycott of parliament agreed on by the opposition party and attended a sitting of the Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement.

The three are Virginia Mafuta (Proportional Representative), David Tekeshe (Makoni Central) and Joyce Makonya (Proportional Representative).

The committee meeting was chaired, by Gokwe-Nembudziya legislator Justice Mayor Wadyajena.

Ms Makonya told State Media that she ignored the boycott after being abused by fellow MPs who accused her of backing Douglas Mwonzora.

“I was removed from the party WhatsApp group by Lilian Timveos who accused me of backing Mr Mwonzora since we hail from Manicaland province.

“I was briefly re-admitted into the group, but was removed again and it was at that point that I realised that a lot of things were happening behind my back,” she said.

Asked which of the MDC groups she belonged to, Makonya said: “I belong to the MDC-T that was left behind by Mr Tsvangirai and I stand by the ruling that was made by the Supreme Court.”

Tekeshe said: “I do not believe I am defying the party directive, but that I am doing what the constituency has directed me to do. During this time of Covid-19, my people need me the most and if I don’t come to these platforms they miss out on many things. People think that being in opposition is hatred and enmity, but I think we need to unite.”

Asked if he still recognised Mr Chamisa as his leader, Mr Tekeshe said the time was not ripe to declare his allegiance. “That is a tough one. We will cross the bridge when we get to it. All I can say is that in a democracy, we have the right to make choices and I made the choice to come to Parliament. I am not an MP for the love of politics, but for the love of the people,” he said.

Ms Mafuta declined to comment.

Wadyajena thanked the opposition members for attending the committee meeting.

“We must thank members of the MDC who have come for the committee though there maybe intimidations and harassment, but we thank them for coming to support the committee and do what they were elected to do,” he said.

The committee agreed to meet later to enable the Permanent Secretary in the ministry Dr John Basera to attend after he failed to turn up yesterday.