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Zimbabwe Speaker of Parliament Barred from Attending Top Level Zanu PF Meeting Following Fallout Over His Remarks on Diaspora Vote

Zimbabwe Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda presides over a parliament session where a motion is moved to impeach President Robert Mugabe, Nov. 21, 2017 at the Zimbabwean Parliament in Harare, Zimbabwe.

State security agents on Wednesday blocked Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Mudenda, from attending a top level meeting of the ruling Zanu PF party following a fallout over his remarks that Zimbabweans living in the diaspora should be allowed to vote in national elections.

According to the privately-owned NewsDay newspaper, Mudenda was barred from attending a Politburo meeting in Harare as some Zanu PF bigwigs claimed that his utterances for a diaspora vote tarnished the image of the party. Zanu PF strongly opposes the diaspora vote.

One of the sources quoted by the newspaper said, “Mudenda was barred from attending the politburo meeting by some State security agents because people in the party are not happy with the diaspora vote which he called for recently.”

The newspaper quoted Mudenda describing as “nonsense” suggestions that he was barred from the meeting.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, presidential spokesperson George Charamba and Zanu PF spokesperson have publicly attacked Mudenda for saying that Zimbabweans living in the diaspora should be allowed to vote through some constitutional amendments.

Mnangagwa said personal remarks made by Mudenda should not be associated with the ruling party while Mutsvangwa openly attacked him.

NewsDay quoted Mutsvangwa as saying, “… It’s unbecoming when some of our members express views in Parliament about certain issues. We have a caucus at the party. Why would somebody from the ruling party want to go and express things about the diaspora or express things about when the President should be electing a vice-president” We should discuss them here. To go out and start talking out of turn is not the Zanu PF way. There is no problem in having variant views, but let’s discuss them if you are a party member. As the spokesperson of the party, I appeal for discipline from our party members.”

Some Zanu PF juniors have also been attacking Mudenda claiming that he is now a front for the West, which imposed targeted sanctions on senior ruling party officials.

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