An MDC Alliance MP, Kucaca Phulu, has said the party’s parliamentarians did not boycott President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) and the opening of the Third Session of the Ninth Parliament of Zimbabwe on Thursday.
MDC Alliance MPs, who have hitherto been walking out or booing Mnangagwa while he is addressing the nation in Parliament, were absent from Parliament when the President made the virtual address at the State House in Harare.
While MDC-T MPs and the party’s interim president Thokozani Khupe, who was recently appointed leader of the opposition in Parliament, attended the virtual address, legislators aligned to MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa were not present.
Phulu, the MDC Alliance MP for Nkulumane in Bulawayo dismissed assertions they had boycotted SONA. He said:
I did not boycott Parliament as reported by some media organisations. The fact is that I and other MPs were not invited to attend the function due to Covid-19.
Actually, Parliament circulated a list of parliamentarians and cabinet ministers who were supposed to attend the opening.
I know a lot of MPs who were unable to attend Parliament and followed the parliamentary proceedings from their different bases.
So, it is not true that I snubbed Parliament.
MDC Alliance MPs have routinely snubbed Mnangagwa, insisting that he lacks legitimacy.