By Dorrothy Moyo | ZimEye | In a divergence from fellow party members, Fadzayi Mahere, a prominent figure within the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), has declared her reluctance to withdraw from Parliament despite mounting public pressure and calls for the CCC to leave Mnangagwa’s controversial legislative body.
Mahere, who represents Mt Pleasant in Parliament, explained her decision on X (formerly Twitter), stating that a withdrawal by CCC legislators could potentially grant ZANU PF the leeway to amend the Constitution unchecked, potentially leading to the establishment of a one-party state.
“I can assure you that if the @CCCZimbabwe’s Citizens’ National Assembly resolves that we should withdraw from Parliament, we will,” Mahere affirmed in her statement.
This announcement stands in contrast to the sentiments expressed by Darlington Chigumbu, the CCC Member of Parliament for Budiriro. Chigumbu voiced his willingness to quit Parliament, emphasizing his concern for CCC leader Nelson Chamisa, stating that he does not want to see Chamisa accused of actions he has not committed.
The backdrop of these decisions is the tumultuous political landscape since the November 2017 coup, with accusations against Mnangagwa’s party ranging from changing election results arbitrarily to engaging in outrageous conduct.
Mahere’s remarks come as Chigumbu broke ranks to express readiness to leave Parliament.
“President @nelsonchamisa is one person I know who listens to other people’s views.
“If the electorate is to be angry with anyone regarding tomfoolery happening at Parly then that anger must be directed to US the MPs not the president. It is us who must be clear and leave Parly,” wrote Chigumbu.
As discussions within the CCC unfold, the contrasting perspectives within the party highlight the complex considerations surrounding the decision to either remain in or withdraw from Mnangagwa’s parliament.
The Illusion of Parliamentary Power: Examining ZANU PF’s Unchecked Authority in Zimbabwe | ANALYSIS
In the face of mounting challenges to the democratic process in Zimbabwe, the claim that parliamentary presence can curtail ZANU PF’s stranglehold on power appears increasingly dubious. Fadzayi Mahere contends that staying in Parliament can prevent constitutional amendments, yet a closer examination of recent events paints a starkly different picture.
The recall of elected MPs, orchestrated by ZANU PF, exemplifies the party’s ability to manipulate parliamentary dynamics to its advantage. Despite Mahere’s optimism, the party has successfully implemented outrageous changes, such as the recalls, undermining the efficacy of parliamentary resistance.
Historical precedents reveal a troubling pattern of ZANU PF’s blatant disregard for parliamentary oversight. The 2017 removal of President Robert Mugabe through military intervention and the subsequent 2018 overthrow of Nelson Chamisa’s government underscore the party’s willingness to circumvent established democratic processes.
The tragic events of January 2019, where ZANU PF responded to fuel price protests with violence, killing 17 and subjecting over 50 women to rape, further highlight the party’s ability to act with impunity. Despite parliamentary pressure, ZANU PF proceeded without restraint, calling into question the efficacy of parliamentary influence in halting such atrocities.
The controversial 2023 elections, marked by ZANU PF’s use of army personnel within the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to manipulate results, serve as another stark example of the party’s unhindered actions. The ability to alter election outcomes and distribute parliamentary seats with impunity undermines any claim that parliamentary presence alone can act as a deterrent.
In light of this troubling history, Mahere’s assertion that her presence in Parliament can prevent ZANU PF from changing the Constitution seems increasingly unfounded. The stark reality is that ZANU PF’s actions have consistently demonstrated an ability to operate beyond the reach of parliamentary influence, raising critical questions about the effectiveness of the current democratic framework in Zimbabwe.