WATCH: Mudenda Told To Restore Chamisa’s MPs
17 April 2024
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By A Correspondent | ZimEye |

The world’s most authoritive union of parliaments, the @IPUparliament has ruled against The Speaker of @ParliamentofZim
Jacob Mudenda over his rejection of @nelsonchamisa, following an exclusive ZimEye investigation that caught on camera, Mr Sengezo Tshabangu and exposed him as a ZANU PF imposter (see video in link below).

The main findings of the IPU Committee’s ruling (except below) in support of Nelson Chamisa’s presidency over the CCC against Sengezo Tshabangu’s allegations involves several key decisions are as follows:

  1. The Committee on Human Rights has criticized the recall procedures used by Zimbabwean parliamentary authorities, which allowed political parties to revoke the mandates of parliamentarians. This process was deemed contrary to the principles of a free representational mandate and freedom of expression.
  2. It questioned the legitimacy of the communication from Sengezo Tshabangu, who claimed to be the interim Secretary General of the CCC and requested the recall of CCC members. The Committee was concerned that this letter was accepted without proper verification and despite being contrary to an earlier, legitimate communication from Nelson Chamisa.
  3. The Committee was dismayed that recalled parliamentarians were barred from participating in by-elections and highlighted the need for parliamentary and constitutional reforms in Zimbabwe to prevent such scenarios in the future.
  4. The IPU Committee expressed dismay at and condemned the actions of the Speaker of the Zimbabwean Parliament, Jacob Mudenda, for ignoring Nelson Chamisa’s presidency of the CCC. The Committee criticized Mudenda for accepting a contested letter from Sengezo Tshabangu without verifying its legitimacy and despite having received an official communication from Chamisa asserting his role as the president of the CCC. This oversight led to the recall of CCC members, which the Committee found to be unjust and not in line with democratic principles.
  5. Finally, the Committee plans to organize a mission to Zimbabwe to further investigate and address the ongoing issues, emphasizing the importance of accurate and legitimate processes in parliamentary operations.

A copy of the decision reads:

Decision adopted by consensus by the IPU Governing Council at its 213th session (Geneva, 27 March 2024)

© X @CCCZimbabwe

ZWE-47 – Pashor Raphael Sibanda ZWE-68 – Mativenga Godfrey Madzikana
ZWE-48 – Ereck Gono ZWE-69 – David Chimhini
ZWE-49 – Nicola Jane Watson (Ms.) ZWE-71 – Admore Chivero
ZWE-50 – Desmond Makaza ZWE-72 – Stephen Chatiza
ZWE-51 – Obert Manduna ZWE-73 – Gift Ostallos Siziba
ZWE-52 – Sitabile Mlilo (Ms.) ZWE-74 – Tapfumaneyi Willard Madzimbamuto
ZWE-53 – Jasmine Toffa (Ms.) ZWE-75 – Oliver Mutasa
ZWE-54 – Janeth Dube (Ms.) ZWE-76 – Amos Chibaya
ZWE-55 – Evidence Zana (Ms.) ZWE-77 – Emma Muzondiwa (Ms.)
ZWE-56 – Morgan Ncube ZWE-78 – Machirairwa Mgidho (Ms.)
ZWE-57 – Velisiwa Nkomo (Ms.) ZWE-79 – Constance Chihota (Ms.)
ZWE-58 – Prince Dubeko Sibanda ZWE-80 – Monica Mukwada (Ms.)
ZWE-59 – Bright Moyo Vanya ZWE-81 – Sekai Mungani (Ms.)
ZWE-60 – Febion Munyaradzi Kufahatizwi ZWE-82 – Linnet Mazingaidzo (Ms.)
ZWE-61 – Helen Zivira (Ms.) ZWE-83 – Dephine Gutsa (Ms.)
ZWE-62 – Gideon Shoko ZWE-84 – Webster Maondera
ZWE-63 – Siphiwe Ncube (Ms.) ZWE-85 – Jameson Timba
ZWE-64 – Felix Magalela ZWE-86 – Editor Matamisa (Ms.)
ZWE-65 – Tendai Sibanda (Ms.) ZWE-87 – Vongai Tome (Ms.)
ZWE-66 – Joel Gabuza Gabbuza ZWE-88 – Ralph T. Magunje
ZWE-67 – Anastasia Moyo (Ms.)

Alleged human rights violations  Torture, ill-treatment and other acts of violence  Threats, acts of intimidation  Lack of due process in proceedings against parliamentarians  Undue invalidation, suspension, revocation or other acts obstructing the exercise of the parliamentary mandate  Other violations: right to take part in the conduct of public affairs A. Summary of the case General elections were held in Zimbabwe on 23 August 2023, which led to the inauguration of the 10th parliamentary term on 3 October 2023. According to the complainant, the Citizen’s Coalition for Change (CCC), the opposition party then led by Mr. Nelson Chamisa, the main challenger to the incumbent President Mnangagwa of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU-PF) party, acquired a sizeable number of seats in both chambers of parliament, thus ending the two-thirds majority that the ZANU-PF party had enjoyed in the past. According to the complainant, in a letter dated 11 September 2023, Mr. Nelson Chamisa wrote to the speakers of both houses of parliament that, as President of the CCC, his office was to be solely responsible for any correspondence between the authorities and the CCC. At a hearing with the IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Case ZWE-COLL-02 Zimbabwe: Parliament affiliated to the IPU Victims: 41 opposition members of parliament (22 men and 19 women) Qualified complainant: Section I.(1)(a) of the Committee Procedure (Annex I) Submission of complaint: October 2023 Recent IPU decision: October 2023 IPU mission(s): – – – Recent Committee hearing: Hearing with the Speaker of the National Assembly at the 147th IPU Assembly (October 2023) Recent follow-up: – Communication(s) from the authorities: Letter from the Speaker of the National Assembly (February 2024) – Communication from the complainant: January 2024 – Communication to the authorities: Letter to the Speaker of the National Assembly (February 2024) – Communication to the complainant: January 2024 Parliamentarians during the 147th IPU Assembly, the Speaker of the National Assembly stated that Article 129(1)(k) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe stipulated that the seat of a member of the National Assembly becomes vacant “if the Member has ceased to belong to the political party of which he or she was a member when elected to Parliament and the political party concerned, by written notice to the Speaker … has declared that the Member has ceased to belong to it”. The complainant contends that Speaker Mudenda recalled 14 members of the National Assembly on the basis of a letter that was allegedly received from a Mr. Sengozo Tshabangu on 4 October 2023, in which Mr. Tshabangu claimed to be the “interim Secretary General of the CCC” and requested the speakers of both houses of parliament to recall 14 members of the lower house and nine senators on the grounds that they were no longer members of the CCC. According to the complainant, Mr. Tshabangu is an imposter with no position in the CCC and without any authority to request this recall. Moreover, none of the individuals concerned in parliament stated that they had left the CCC. In the hearing with the IPU Committee, the Speaker of the National Assembly stated that Mr. Tshabangu’s letter had been received before Mr. Chamisa’s letter and affirmed that, had it been the other way around, his decision would have been quite different. According to the complainant, the Speaker of the National Assembly denied the CCC parliamentarians the right to be heard before proceeding with the revocation of their parliamentary mandate on 10 October 2023. According to information received from the Speaker of the National Assembly, most recently through his letter of 26 February 2024, under Article 129(1)(k) of the Constitution, and bearing in mind a legal precedent specifying that the Speaker should not adjudicate internal party disputes, the Speakers of each chamber had no choice but to proceed with the recall and to refer the individuals concerned to the courts if they did not agree with the recall decision. The Speaker of the National Assembly has also referred in his observations to existing case law that confirms this position. The complainant claims that the Speaker acted unconstitutionally by ignoring the written and oral submission of known members of the CCC by refusing any discussion on this issue and by accepting the letter from Mr. Tshabangu without verifying that it was a legitimate communication from the CCC. In addition, the complainant alleges that the Speaker ordered the intervention of a riot police unit, which evicted the CCC parliamentarians from the National Assembly after they refused to leave the House, protesting against the recall of their colleagues. According to the complainant, several parliamentarians sustained injuries as a result of police brutality in the House. In addition, the complainant submits that the Speaker suspended all CCC National Assembly members from the House for six sittings and stopped their salaries for two months. Since then, the complainant states that 18 additional CCC parliamentarians were recalled on 14 November 2023 (five senators and 13 members of the lower house), and that all recalled CCC legislators have been barred from taking part in by-elections held since October 2023. In addition, Mr. Febion Kufahatizwi, whose mandate was affected by the recall of 10 October 2023, was reportedly subjected to threats and intimidation against himself and his staff during the by-elections, which led to the abduction and murder of his aide, Mr. Tapfumaneyi Masaya. The complainant adds that this followed the abduction and torture of Mr. Takudzwa Ngadziore on 1 November 2023 and two other CCC members in the months that followed the August 2023 elections. According to the complainant, these events should be seen as part of a pattern of repression, erosion of the independence of the judiciary and a shrinking civic space, which intensified after the 2023 elections, and against the background of pre-existing violations of the rights of opposition parliamentarians. The complainant shared several incidents where opposition parliamentarians had been recalled from other opposition parties in the past but stressed that never before had the recall procedure been initiated by a person who was reportedly external to the political party and its leadership. Reportedly, Mr. Tshabangu made statements to the effect that only CCC candidates vetted by himself would be allowed to take part in future by-elections, which led to the intervention of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to ban recalled members of parliament from taking part in elections. In addition, all attempts to rectify the recalls by challenging them in court were dismissed. B. Decision The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union 1. Notes that the current case also includes a new complaint regarding the situation of 18 individuals and that the complaint: (i) was submitted in due form by a qualified complainant under section I.1(a) of the Procedure for the examination and treatment of complaints (Annex I of the revised Rules and Practices of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians); (ii) concerns 18 additional members of parliament who had been elected before the alleged violations took place; and (iii) concerns allegations of undue invalidation, suspension, revocation or other acts obstructing the exercise of the parliamentary mandate, which are allegations that fall within the Committee’s mandate; and decides to merge the examination of their cases with the present case; 2. Thanks the Speaker of the National Assembly of Zimbabwe for his recent letter and for the detailed information provided therein; 3. Is concerned by the escalating number of cases before the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians in Zimbabwe; 4. Regrets that the parliamentary authorities did not see fit to implement the decision of the Governing Council of 27 October 2023 regarding the modification of the recall procedure after the revocation of the mandate of the first 23 opposition parliamentarians; declares, once again, that the procedure allowing political parties in Zimbabwe to recall their members in parliament runs counter to the basic principle of the free representational mandate and to the right to freedom of expression, both of which the IPU has consistently defended; reaffirms that the Constitution should also secure the rights of parliamentarians, and that if the interpretation of some norms infringes on the rights of duly elected members of parliament and deprives them of the mandate given to them by the people, that serious consideration should be given to revising those norms; renews its sincere hope that the Zimbabwean authorities, in particular parliament, will seriously examine the possibility of modifying the recall procedure so as to ensure that members of parliament can carry out their work freely without undue pressure from their political parties; 5. Appreciates the argument put forward by the Speaker of the National Assembly that he acted in line with Article 129(1)(k) of the Constitution of the Republic of Zimbabwe; fails to see, however, any reasonable grounds for accepting an official communication from an unknown individual without being satisfied that the said communication is legitimate and without seeking the point of view of the individuals concerned or the President of their party; is concerned by the assertion that the official communication from the leader of the party to which the 18 parliamentarians belonged was not taken into account because it was reportedly received after the recall, even though it was dated three weeks before that decision was taken; is puzzled by the swiftness with which the decision to revoke the mandate of the newly elected parliamentarians was taken and the fact that no debate on the issue was allowed; and wishes to receive additional clarification from the parliamentary authorities of the National Assembly and the Senate on the points above; 6. Is dismayed that 18 additional opposition parliamentarians lost their seats following the decision of the Speaker of the National Assembly and the President of the Senate to revoke their mandate on the basis of yet another deeply contested letter from Mr. Tshabangu, an individual who is allegedly unrelated to the party to which these legislators belong; is perplexed by the fact that this letter was accepted and acted upon despite the fact that the President of the party concerned, Mr. Nelson Chamisa, had written months before to the said Speakers, clearly stating that all correspondence with and from the CCC party had to go solely through him, and despite his later comments that Mr. Tshabangu was an imposter and that the parliamentarians concerned were bona fide members of the party and did not consent to the recall; 7. Is shocked to learn that the members of parliament who lost their seats as a result of the recalls were denied the right to take part in by-elections in their constituencies by decision of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission; takes note of the information that a ban has been issued by the High Court of Zimbabwe blocking any new recalls pending a final decision on the matter by the courts; and strongly believes that parliament should review the circumstances that paved the way to the emergence of this case and do everything necessary to ensure that such circumstances do not arise again; 8. Is convinced that this case and the ongoing cases from Zimbabwe before the Committee require the organization of a mission by the IPU Committee to Zimbabwe as soon as practicable; thanks, once again, the Speaker of the National Assembly for his renewed commitment, as stated in his most recent letter, to making arrangements with the executive authorities to facilitate the organization of such a mission; and wishes to receive such information in time to conduct such a mission ahead of the 149th Assembly of the IPU, scheduled to take place in October 2024; and looks forward to receiving information on the specifics of the mission as soon as possible; 9. Requests the Secretary General to convey this decision to the parliamentary authorities and other relevant national authorities, the complainant and any interested third party likely to be in a position to supply relevant information; 10. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and to report back to it in due course. * * *