Public hearing meeting disrupted in Bulawayo
By Tichaona Sibanda
ZANU PF supporters in Bulawayo forced the abandonment of a public hearing
meeting on the Electoral Amendment Bill, simply because one contributor used
the Shona language to address the gathering.
Our correspondent Lionel Saungweme told us the ‘disruptive’ ZANU PF crowd
was against the use of Shona, insisting that the unidentified man should use
either Ndebele or English during the meeting.
Douglas Mwonzora, the chairman of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on
Justice and Legal Affairs, told the meeting that people were free to use any
language to put across their views.
‘The ZANU PF crowd remained adamant that only Ndebele or English should be
used in the meeting, while Mwonzora stood his ground that anyone can address
the meeting in a language they are comfortable with.
‘Tempers flared when ZANU PF activists kept heckling the man, forcing
Mwonzora to call off the meeting to avert crowd trouble,’ Saungweme said,
adding that all this was happening in the presence of uniformed police
details who took no action to prevent the disturbances.
Saungweme said it was just a ploy by the ZANU PF activists to disrupt the
meeting using the tribal card, as Shona is widely used in Bulawayo even
though the Ndebele language is the most dominant.
According to our correspondent, Mwonzora then asked the people to submit
their views in writing. To Mwonzora’s horror, the written submissions were
then grabbed from a parliamentary official, never to be seen again.
Outside the venue Saungweme said ZANU PF youths attacked ZAPU FP member
Sikhumbuzo Dube, while Tsepiso Mpofu, the MDC-T deputy provincial organizer,
was also assaulted.
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