There was drama in parliament this week when MDC T MP Priscilla Misihairabwi Mushonga knelt in front of Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube thanking him for reserving funds for free sanitary wear for school children in the 2021 national budget, New Zimbabwe reports.
According to the publication, this is what transpired in parliament:
The legislator first sought permission to perform the unorthodox thank-you from deputy speaker Tsitsi Gezi.
She then unrolled a reed mat in front of Ncube before she knelt down and started showering praise on the minister.
While kneeling down before Ncube, Misihairabwi-Mushonga took out a round wooden plate with two branded black T-shirts and handed them to the treasury chief.
Misihairabwi- Mushonga then said:
I am happy with this particular Minister (Ncube) and his team. Some of us have been in this house (Parliament) since 2000.
Since 2000, sanitary wear has been our debate, but we have never at one time had a minister who is supportive like Ncube. It has taken us 20 years before these things were done.
Other opposition MPs reportedly heckled her and Settlement Chikwinya reportedly asked:
Under which parliamentary rule did you allow the rituals to be performed? I can also do the same tomorrow. I can remove my clothes appreciating the good work a minister would have done.
We are an institution of rules even though we appreciate our culture. The precedent set here is wrong. People out there, who do not have a background of this incident will believe that women are made to kneel before men.
To which Misihairabwi Mushonga reportedly shot back and said:
Kana usina kumbopfugamirwa nemukadzi enda unobika doro (If you have never had a woman kneel for you, go and perform a beer ritual).
Other opposition MPs which include Magwegwe MP Anele Ndebele also heckled the deputy speaker of parliament and said she had no power to grant such requests in parliament.
It’s not about you (Gezi). It’s about the rules. Which rules allow rituals to be performed in Parliament?