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MDC-T protests cause Senate adjournment until February

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This update from Veritas (below) impressed me – the MDC is demonstrating in action what it means when it says it “won’t recognise” appointments like the Provincial Governors.

The part about the Senators “singing, dancing and whistling” brought to mind this image from Anton Kannemeyer’s Alphabet of Democracy series.

For the second day running MDC-T Senators brought the Senate to a standstill in protest against the presence of “intruders”.  Immediately after the opening prayer MDC-T Senator Tichaona Mudzingwa rose to object to the presence of Thokozile Mathuthu, David Karimanzira, Jason Machaya and Faber Chidarikire in the House.  [These are persons who the MDC-T say are no longer ex officio members of the Senate, as they were illegally and unconstitutionally appointed as provincial governors by President Mugabe.]  The President of the Senate refused to accept the objection, whereupon the MDC-T Senators starting singing, dancing and whistling and made such a noise that the President of the Senate rose to adjourn the Senate until February.  No business was conducted.  MDC-M Senators present did not join in the demonstration.

Today’s events were a repeat of yesterday’s adjournment without business being conducted, after MDC-T made a similar protest against the presence of Thokozile Mathuthu. The MDC-T position is that MDC-T Senators will continue to prevent the Senate conducting any business until the issue of provincial governors’ appointments has been resolved.

If the issue over the provincial governors is resolved before the 8th February, it will be possible for the Senate to be recalled early.  Senate Standing Order 187 empowers the President of the Senate, at the request of President Mugabe, to recall the Senate for an earlier meeting if the “public interest” so requires. The Senate could be recalled at any time, even if the provincial governor problem is not resolved, but this is unlikely to happen as it would, no doubt, lead to further incidents.

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