NATIONAL Constitutional Assembly (NCA) president Lovemore Madhuku has challenged political parties and ordinary citizens to call for the removal of a clause in the Constitution providing for the recall of members of Parliament (MPs), saying the recalls affect democratic participation and policy development.
This comes as the MDC has recalled over 30 MPs and 45 councillors following a Supreme Court ruling in April this year which declared Thokozani Khupe the rightful interim leader of the party.
Speaking during an online discussion held recently on the implications of the recalls on policy and service delivery, Madhuku said there was need for the removal of the clause, which provides for the recall of MPs and councillors in order to avoid chaos within political parties at the expense of ordinary citizens.
“The recalls that have happened now are not different from the recalls that happened in the past, there is just a dispute in terms of which party these MPs belong to.
Parliament believes these MPs belong to MDC-T. “It may be wrong or it may be right but that is a matter which is before the courts. I don’t think that the clause should remain.
“It should be removed from the Constitution. The NCA doesn’t support that. “If Zimbabweans still support that clause it means that they would want a situation where the MPs can be removed,” Madhuku said.
According to Madhuku, Section 129 subsection 1, paragraph K of the Constitution provides for the recall of MPs and councillors if they cease to be a member of the political party they were elected under — which is what is currently being used to recall MDC Alliance members who denounced their membership of the MDC-T party.
Speaking at the same event, MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzai Mahere said the recalls were political and meant to destroy the MDC Alliance as the country’s “strongest opposition party”.
“The recalls confirm that Zimbabwe is a nation in crisis. We see a dramatisation of the crisis in Zimbabwe and the coordinated attempt to return Zimbabwe to a one-party state.
“The capture of State institutions throughout this recall process is completely brazen. “The question on the mind of
every Zimbabwean is how can MPs be recalled by a political party that did not install them in Parliament?
… This is an attempt to destroy the stronger opposition.
“An opposition with mass popular support that says no on certain terms … that speaks out against the economic and health crises,” Mahere said.
Zanu PF director of information Tafadzwa Mugwadi said it was time for the MDC factions to man up and address their problems without blaming outsiders.
“There is no way that I see Zanu PF involved in what is going on between the two MDC political parties. We are always very clear as Zanu PF that there is no crisis in Zimbabwe. In fact, the crisis is in the MDC and MDC Alliance and other MDCs out there.
“You are failing as a political party. You are failing to organise yourselves and now there is a legitimacy crisis within the MDC.
“We don’t bother ourselves with what happens within the MDC or Harvest House. “What is on our table is to ensure that we transform our manifesto of 2018 into reality to ensure that we achieve Vision 2030, to ensure we
stabilise the currency and to bring sanity in the mobile money sector, to prepare for the next farming season through farming modernisation and mechanisation,” Mugwadi said.
Meanwhile, MDC secretarygeneral Douglas Mwonzora said the recall of MPs and councillors from Parliament was based on the need to eliminate those who had denounced the party, those who were corrupt and those who engaged in acts of violence.
“We did not recall people because they did not pledge allegiance to us. “I’m sure you are talking about the affidavits that MPs were made to sign.
“They were not made to sign those affidavits by us. “They were made to sign them by the party that Nelson Chamisa
“These were created by their lawyers, including Tendai Biti and Charlton Hwende where they specifically said they no longer belonged to the MDC and some of the MPS who were recalled in court documents specifically said that
they were no longer members of our party.
“Once they pledged that they were no longer members of the MDC-T they were bound by word and deed and so the recalls were made,” Mwonzora said.