National Assembly Speaker Jacob Mudenda on Tuesday ordered Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) MPs not to wear yellow in Parliament.
The order came after Buhera South MP Joseph Chinotimba (ZANU PF) protested that some CCC MPs were wearing party symbols.
The CCC MPs dressed formally, but some were wearing yellow neck-ties, shirts, tops and blazers. Said Mudenda:
From tomorrow, can Honourable Members adhere to the dress code and not be seen in colours that are aligned to party affiliation. Please be advised accordingly.
According to ZimLive, Harare East MP Tendai Biti, wore a striped yellow and navy-blue tie while Prince Dubeko Sibanda (Binga North), Amos Chibaya (Mkoba), Prosper Mutseyami (Chikanga-Dangamvura), Chalton Hwende (Kuwadzana East) and Settlement Chikwinya (Mbizo) all wore yellow ties.
Judith Tobaiwa (Kwekwe Central) and Sichelesile Mahlangu (Pumula) wore yellow blazers.
Mudenda’s directive riled CCC MPs, who vowed to wear colours of their choice as long as it was not party regalia. Speaking outside parliament, Biti, who is also CCC deputy president, said:
I can understand if the Speaker rules against putting on yellow T-Shirts but if I put on a yellow shirt, a formal business shirt or a yellow tie, I’m not breaching any law.
I hope he doesn’t put us in a position where there’s an unnecessary collision, and that there is litigation and civil war in that House.
A necktie or shirt is not party regalia. If we come wearing Zambias, it’s a different thing but I don’t think anyone has an intention to do that.
There’s no law in the world anywhere that proscribes anyone from putting on a necktie of his or her own choice.
Mutseyami said what Mudenda suggested is impractical since green, yellow, black and red are among the colours that are used by different political parties. He said:
Is what the Speaker is saying lawful, or he’s just telling us what’s in his head? This is not Mudenda’s House, it’s a national House.
We were not voted for by Mudenda but by the people. We’re not here out of his compassion.
In any case, no one is quite sure which colour he says belongs to a political party.
In this country, there are political parties that use green, yellow, black and red.
I don’t know which of those colours is a party colour, and which one is not.