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DROP CHARGES, BRING BACK VIRTUAL SITTINGS - MPS

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LOBAMBA - Nhlambeni Member of Parliament (MP) Manzi Zwane yesterday moved that the charges against his three colleagues be dropped.

This happened after Nkilongo MP Timothy Myeni had sought clarity on whether Siphofaneni’s MP Mduduzi ‘Gawuzela’ Simelane had lost his job as an MP following that he had not been attending sittings. The Nhlambeni MP stood up to say he also had the same concern raised by MP Myeni and asked to know if the issuing of a warrant did not mean that a person would be arrested. “Does it not mean that I have been arrested?

I would like to know whether the three would not be here if there were no warrants of arrest issued against them. I plead with the House to move that the charges against the MPs, who spoke for the people in Parliament be dropped,” Zwane submitted. The Nhlambeni MP was stopped by the Deputy Speaker, Madala Mhlanga, who advised that since he had already moved, he should find a way to draft the motion and bring it to the House. Mhlanga led the sitting yesterday standing in for Speaker Petros Mavimbela.

He said he believed that Zwane had been in the House for quite some time and, therefore, understood the proceedings. “By now you know that once you stand up and move that the House should support you, it becomes a motion. No one will bully you. Draft the motion and it will come to the House,” said Mhlanga. Zwane then posed a question whether there would have been a need to count days left for any MP had there been no warrant of arrest issued. “Are the charges against the three MPs different? I ask this because I believe that it there is any counting done, it should apply to all three,” he said. The deputy Speaker, again, advised that there would be no one to provide the answers to what the MP was asking but that he should just draft the motion.

Meetings

On another note, Gilgal MP Sandla Fakudze asked to know why virtual sittings were suspended. Fakudze said they had heard rumours that the reason was to ensure that certain members could not participate in the sittings. In response, the deputy Speaker stated that the House constituted itself, which meant that if it felt that the virtual meetings were needed, the members could vote. Also making a submission was Lobamba Lomdzala MP Marwick Khumalo, who first thanked the deputy Speaker for being descent enough to give all members of the House a chance to make submissions. Khumalo then submitted that the virtual sittings were needed as they allowed MPs to participate in sittings without showing up in Parliament.

The Lobamba Lomdzala MP said the Ministry of Health still emphasised that the COVID-19 pandemic was still alive and that the virtual sittings should be allowed. The deputy Speaker then assured that the House would use the standing orders and bring back the virtual sittings.

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