ZIMBABWE’S opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has said Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa and MDC MP Roy Bennett should both be held accountable for their actions in parliament on Tue
Chinamasa was floored by the burly Bennett after verbally abusing the white MP while debating an adverse report on the Stock Theft Amendment Bill.
Chinamasa, who had made offensive remarks about the MP’s ancestry, was sent tumbling to the floor after being slightly pushed. In the ensuing melee, another minister Didymus Mutasa was also floored by the emotionally charged Chimanimani MP after Mutasa kicked him from behind.
Chinamasa said Bennett had not forgiven government for “taking his farm, forgetting that his ancestors were thieves and murderers”.
“The conduct of both legislators has brought parliament into disrepute and both must be held accountable for their actions,” said MDC spokesperson, Paul Themba Nyathi.
“Whilst the actions of Roy Bennett cannot be condoned, neither should the demeaning, hurtful, wicked, barbaric and provocative racial and personal slurs and insults hurled at Bennett by the Minister of Justice.”
Gun-toting soldiers and police officers seized Bennett’s Charleswood farm as part of government’s haphazard land reform exercise in April despite over six High Court orders allowing him to stay.
Bennett yesterday said he was not proud of what he had done.
“I lost my temper when Chinamasa said I would never go back to my farm. He went on to say that I was being punished for the crimes of my ancestors. I am not proud of what I did but I will never apologise to Chinamasa,” said Bennett.
MDC vice-president Gibson Sibanda told the Independent that he had apologised to Chinamasa and Mutasa for the unfortunate incident.
Bennett is now set to appear before a disciplinary hearing committee that comprises three Zanu PF MPs and two MDC lawmakers. The two opposition MPs are Tendai Biti and Professor Welshman Ncube and those from Zanu PF are Chief Jonathan Mangwende, Joyce Mujuru and Paul Mangwana.