Itai Muzondo in Gweru
25 March 2017, GWERU – Speaker of Parliament; Jacob Mudenda last week said government will not hesitate to apply brute force in order to stop hooliganism at public hearings.
Addressing journalists, non-governmental organisations and the business community in Gweru recently, Mudenda said disturbances at public hearing jeopardise the practice of constitutionalism in the country.
"Watch out for hooligans at public hearings. To do so (hooliganism) is unconstitutional. Such platforms should be areas of freedom of expression and conscience. That is why we do not send in police or army anywhere near public hearing venues but if this continues, we will not hesitate to use force on the perpetrators," Mudenda said.
He also urged civic organisations to participate in all public hearings, with NGOs and civic organisations that were present indicating that political parties were bringing their supporters to hearings so that they could vocally push their agendas.
This, it was heard, often resulted in skirmishes among political parties.
"We strongly feel that public hearings have become more of a political arena than civic engagement platforms as political parties always come with party positions with contradictions often ending up in nasty arguments and fights," one participant complained.
On the same note, Mudenda advised that under Section 149 of the constitution, locals have the right to petition parliament on any matter they are not happy with.
He also said Section 167 of the constitution allows people to take parliament to the Constitutional Court if there was not enough public consultation on bills.local,topnews