Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Mudenda has said civic organisations are free to petition the government on various issues but some of them are getting money from Western-funded organisations to effect illegal regime change, something that he said will not happen.
Mudenda made the remarks during a stakeholder meeting with civic society organisations and the media at the Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT) last week. He said:
Right now we are receiving a number of petitions, which speak to our daily lives.
However, some organisations that are giving out money to people in Zimbabwe and Africa to effect regime change are also there.
Regime change cannot come through petitions but only through voting.
Mudenda cautioned those petitioning the Parliament to avoid using foul and insulting language, to include their names and organisations they are representing and also disclose their source of funds. Said Mudenda:
As Parliament, we will protect whoever sends petition, but they have to be objective and factual.
Mudenda added that the Clerk of Parliament receives petitions from citizens and then writes to leaders of the two houses (National Assembly and Senate) who in turn deliberate on the issues.
However, petitions whose issues were before the courts would not be entertained by the Speaker of Parliament and the Senate President, Mudenda added.