Marwick clashes with brother inside ParlY
LOBAMBA – It was bound to happen, but no one had envisaged that the day it took place would be Friday the 13th.
Yesterday, seasoned legislator Marwick Khumalo and his novice parliamentarian brother, Majahodvwa clashed right inside the august House in the presence of Prime Minister Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini.
The PM, who sat opposite the two Khumalo brothers, quietly watched the siblings’ differing views unfold.
The argument was sparked by the experienced MP Marwick who correctly stood up on a point of order while his brother had the floor, something that did not go down well with MP Majahodvwa, who felt he was being undermined.
He is in his first year as an MP while MP Marwick, an internationally celebrated legislator who chairs almost everything that has to do with parliamentary issues within SADC and the Commonwealth, is on his third term.
A term lasts for five years.
So irked was MP Majahodvwa by his firebrand brother’s action that he even demanded to know whether he still had the right to speak in the House or not.
"Mr Speaker, am I supposed to talk in the House? Because clearly it looks like I’m not," MP Majahodvwa said while MP Marwick remained standing as an indication to Speaker Prince Guduza that he wanted to bring his brother to order.
According to parliamentary procedure MP Marwick was correct.
MP Majahodvwa even threw his hands up in the air in utter disgust at what his brother was doing.
The brothers’ verbal stand-off filled the whole House of Assembly with both tension and laughter as other legislators watched the altercation in utter disbelief.
Comments like ‘temndeni atingenwa’ (this is a family affair) and ‘zindala zombili ziyalingana’ (they are of the same league) were murmured by the legislators.
Interestingly, the brothers were seated an arm’s length from each other and during the argument, they both stood up for close to a minute with neither willing to back-off until the speaker ordered MP Majahodvwa to be seated.
After Prince Guduza had sat him down and given MP Marwick the platform, the latter said his younger brother had earlier indicated that he would not contribute anything to the debate and was therefore surprised to see that he now wanted to say something.
However, anger seemed to have got the better of MP Majahodvwa as he refused to speak after being given the floor.
"I’ve nothing more to say Mr Speaker," he retorted while sitting down much against parliament protocol.
This was during the debate on the 2008/2009 Ministry of Health budget allocation and annual performance report.
"I think the honourable MP mistook the word ‘Lobamba’ to mean his constituency whereas the speaker was referring to me and he knows that he had said he wouldn’t say anything regarding this matter, but I am free to let him have the floor," MP Majahodvwa said.
The speaker had referred to MP Marwick’s constituency as ‘Lobamba’ instead of ‘Lobamba Lomdzala’ yet the former constituency is MP Majahodvwa’s.
Worth noting is that MP Marwick is former MP of Lobamba.
Later on as the house continued debating committee reports, MP Majahodvwa was heard congratulating his brother for having compiled a comprehensive report of the Parliament Finance Committee.
After the parliamentary elections last year, the two brothers promised to work with each other and offer mutual advice where possible.
MP Marwick had said in politics there were bound to be differences of opinion and that they would not turn parliament into a family business.