Jonathan Moyo accused of defrauding parliament

An MP from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s party has said he will soon move a motion calling for the expulsion from Parliament of ZANU PF’s Tsholotsho North legislator Professor Jonathan Moyo.

Professor Jonathan Moyo.
Professor Jonathan Moyo.

Felix Sibanda the MDC-T MP for Magwegwe was contributing to a debate in parliament on Tuesday where he tackled reports that Moyo and Mines Minister Obert Mpofu, the MP for Umguza, topped a list of ZANU PF and MDC MP’s bunking Parliamentary sessions between September 2011 and March this year.

Moyo and Mpofu have not attended parliament for 21 consecutive days. Out of 32 sittings held in 32 days Moyo only attended once. Although Mpofu only sought two official leave of absences, he was absent 29 times.

The constitution says that if an MP “is absent for 21 consecutive sittings during any session without the leave of Parliament, their seats shall become vacant.” This means both legislators should have lost their parliamentary seats by now.

Speaking in parliament Sibanda said Moyo has been drawing salaries and benefits, but not attending sittings of Parliament.

“I am soon going to move a motion that people who have been defrauding Parliament by not attending Parliament be fired. Jonathan Moyo has not been attending Parliament but he has been attacking us, we have been performing a national service for the country,” Sibanda said.

Sibanda was referring to Moyo’s incessant attacks on the Constitution Select Committee (COPAC) which is trying to draft a new constitution for the country. Moyo meanwhile defended his ‘boycott’ of parliament claiming it was ‘dysfunctional’.

“My decision to make technical appearances in Parliament – which should have been dissolved some 18 months ago – is very deliberate and quite considered because I want to make a point about that fact.” He claimed Parliament was an “idle body” where MP’s picked up allowances while debating non-binding motions.

Moyo and Mpofu are not the only errant MPs. Other MP’s absent without leave include Kembo Mohadi (29), Saviour Kasukuwere (24), Stanislaus Mudenge (28), Didymus Mutasa (28), Webster Shamu (22) and Olivia Muchena (28) all from ZANU PF.

From the two MDC formations Jameson Timba (29), Joel Gabbuza (19), Moses Mzila Ndlovu (27) Tapiwa Mashakada (25) and Heneri Dzinotyiweyi (26). The revelations infuriated many ordinary Zimbabweans, given recent proposals to expand parliament by another 90 MPs, allegedly to accommodate women. – SW Radio Africa News

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