Leading voice for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (and Member of Parliament) Trudy Stevenson was ejected from that body yesterday for standing up for ZImbabweans' rights to information. This description of the incident was sent out by email by the MDC today:
Stevenson ejected from Parliament for defending freedom of airwaves
Wednesday 28 February 2007
Today Trudy Stevenson (MP Harare North) was ejected from Parliament for attempting to defend the freedom of the airwaves in Zimbabwe, in response to an answer on this issue by Deputy Minister of Information, Bright Matonga, currently implicated in a corruption trial in the matter of a ZUPCO bus tender while he was CEO of ZUPCO, before his entry to Parliament.
Matonga was responding to a Question Without Notice on why government was jamming independent radio stations attempting to broadcast into Zimbabwe. He responded that he was in fact glad that the opposition had noted that government had the power to jam broadcasts of propaganda against the state from outside the country and indeed was jamming those broadcasts, and he was also pleased that those people who received those broadcasts were no longer able to do so.
He went on to gloat over government’s power in this matter, and stated that the UK did not receive broadcasts from foreign countries. At this, Hon Stevenson heckled the Deputy Minister, saying very loudly that his statement was incorrect and that on the contrary the UK received thousands of foreign stations broadcasting… There was general furore at this point and the Acting Speaker, Hon Kumbirai Kangai, ordered Hon Stevenson out of the chamber.