We will attend Parliament, says CCC after attempts to ‘punish’ MPs over SONA boycott

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Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has said it will attend parliamentary sessions to represent the electorate who voted for them.

The sentiments come barely a week after the opposition snubbed the State of the Nation Address (SONA) and the official opening of the first session of the 10th Parliament by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Following the boycott by CCC MPs, the Speaker of Parliament called on the Minister Justice to find statutes in the Political Parties Finance Act that can be used to punish errant opposition members.

Speaking on the sidelines of a three-day Parliament induction seminar in Harare, on Monday, CCC chief whip Amos Chibaya said there was no clause in the Political Parties Finance Act that punishes political parties for boycotting.

“Definitely we will come to parliament to represent the people who elected us under a flawed election.

“These bodies are run by the law, we follow the constitution of the land and parliament will follow the standing orders of parliament, as far as the Political Parties Finance Act, I don’t see anywhere where it is linked with our boycott,” said Chibaya.

The opposition Chief whip said CCC’s attendance was in line with learning the roles and responsibilities of parliamentarians.

“Today is not a SONA day today is the day for induction where members of parliament are being inducted, learning about our roles and responsibilities so it’s completely different from the day when parliament was officially opened by Mnangagwa.”

Chibaya dismissed allegations that CCC was attending parliament to benefit from allowances and fuel coupons, while agreeing with August House rules which withhold incentives to members who abscond sessions.

“If you don’t attend parliament how do you expect to get fuel coupons, if you don’t attend parliament how do you expect to get an allowance, if you don’t attend parliament how do you book a hotel under parliament.” _*NewZimbabwe*_

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