A PUBLIC hearing meeting held by the Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Portfolio Committee in Mutare’s Dangamvura high-density suburb yesterday morning turned chaotic as incensed residents attacked committee members for allegedly failing to conduct the session in a transparent manner.
Chairperson Jessie Majome and her Umzingwane counterpart Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga had to run for dear life and seek refuge in a hired parliamentary bus parked outside Dangamvura-Beithall.
The two, who were manhandled in the ensuing scuffle that lasted for about 10 minutes, have since filed riotous conduct charges at Dangamvura Police Station against unnamed residents whom they alleged were hired to assault them and disrupt the outreach meeting.
The case was reported under Reports Received Book Number 2946203.
Ordinarily, the meeting took off well with Ms Majome chairing but all hell broke loose when some residents queried why she was only picking well known MDC-T supporters to contribute to the discussion at the expense of other people who were being ignored despite raising their hands.
The angry residents subsequently invaded the high table, and manhandled the committee members.
Some attacked Ms Majome head-on and snatched some documents she was holding. They shouted on top of their voices that she was clandestinely getting written input from MDC-T supporters instead of the views being orally presented before everyone.
In an interview soon after the fracas Ms Majome said the attack was planned.
She alleged that thugs were bused to come and disrupt the meeting.
“All this shows that there is no political tolerance in the country. They (thugs) came to make sure that no views from the people will be entertained. I have just been attacked physically for receiving written input from residents. There are people who are afraid to have people speak their minds.
“They pushed me around and I had to fight back to free myself. This is actually robbery because they were trying to rob the views that I got from the people.
“We are not coming back to hold this outreach programme again. I feel sorry for the residents because they have lost an opportunity to air out their views. It’s not correct that we were biased in how we conducted the outreach programme.”