Jacob Mudenda Call To Impeach Mnangagwa Needed
6 June 2024
Spread the love


Editorial Advisory | ZimEye | : Lessons for Jacob Mudenda from Zambia

Hon. Advocate Jacob Francis Nzwidamilimo Mudenda, Speaker of the Zimbabwean Parliament, recently participated in a capacity-building workshop for parliamentary speakers in Lusaka, Zambia. This workshop, themed “Enhancing Parliamentary Democracy: The Role of Presiding Officers,” provided a significant opportunity for Mudenda to reflect on the principles of parliamentary democracy and the responsibilities of a presiding officer. One immediate and necessary step Mudenda must take is to reverse the imposition of Sengezo Tshabangu as the leader of the opposition, a move condemned by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), and issue a formal apology to the voters for this undemocratic action. Furthermore, the legitimacy of State President Emmerson Mnangagwa must be challenged, with Parliament given the role of voting on whether it recognizes Mnangagwa as president, given the allegations of military coups and the overthrow of elected governments since 2017, publicly acknowledged by party spokesman Chris Mutsvangwa on ZBC TV before the 2018 and 2023 elections. Here are some critical takeaways Mudenda must bring back to Zimbabwe:

-1. Upholding Parliamentary Democracy

The core theme of the workshop underscores the importance of enhancing parliamentary democracy. In Zambia, the commitment to a vibrant, multi-party system is evident. This contrasts starkly with the situation in Zimbabwe, where the expulsion of Nelson Chamisa’s legislators and the imposition of Sengezo Tshabangu as the opposition leader have undermined democratic principles. Mudenda must learn that a functioning democracy requires genuine opposition to ensure accountability and diverse representation.

-2. Integrity and Impartiality of the Speaker.

Zambia’s Vice President, Hon. Mutale Nalumango, emphasized that presiding officers must be visionary and exemplary leaders, capable of responsibly managing parliamentary business. Mudenda’s actions in Zimbabwe, particularly in enforcing partisan decisions that stifle opposition, fall short of this ideal. He should strive to embody the integrity and impartiality necessary for his role, ensuring that all parliamentary members, regardless of their political affiliation, are treated fairly and their voices heard.

-3. Building Institutional Capacity.

The establishment of the Institute for Parliamentary Studies and Training (iPST) in Zambia reflects a commitment to continuous improvement and capacity building for parliamentary officers. Mudenda should consider similar initiatives in Zimbabwe to enhance the skills and knowledge of parliamentarians and staff. Such measures can foster a more competent and independent parliament, better equipped to serve the people.

-4. Embracing Reform and Innovation

The workshop in Zambia showcased how building on cumulative efforts can lead to significant reforms. Mudenda should adopt a similar approach, championing reforms that promote transparency, inclusivity, and responsiveness in the Zimbabwean Parliament. Learning from the Zambian experience, he could push for changes that enhance parliamentary procedures and ensure more effective legislative oversight.

-5. Promoting Human Capital Development

Human capital development was highlighted by the Zambian Vice President as a key policy. Mudenda must recognize the importance of investing in the development of parliamentarians and parliamentary staff. Training programs, workshops, and educational opportunities can equip them with the skills necessary to navigate complex legislative processes and better serve their constituencies.

-6. Ensuring Accountability and Transparency

Finally, the presence of both serving and former speakers at the workshop provided a rich exchange of ideas and experiences, emphasizing the importance of accountability and transparency in parliamentary leadership. Mudenda must ensure that his actions and the actions of the Zimbabwean Parliament are transparent and open to scrutiny, thereby building public trust and confidence in the legislative process.

-7. Challenging Presidential Legitimacy

The legitimacy of State President Emmerson Mnangagwa must be urgently reassessed. Given the allegations of military coups and the overthrow of elected governments since 2017, which have been publicly acknowledged by party spokesman Chris Mutsvangwa on national television, Parliament should be empowered to vote on whether it recognizes Mnangagwa as the legitimate president. This step is crucial for restoring constitutional order and ensuring that leadership is derived from democratic processes rather than military intervention.

In conclusion, Jacob Mudenda’s participation in the Lusaka workshop should be a catalyst for positive change in the Zimbabwean Parliament. By embracing the lessons of upholding democratic principles, maintaining integrity, building institutional capacity, championing reform, promoting human capital development, ensuring accountability, and reassessing presidential legitimacy, Mudenda can help transform the Zimbabwean Parliament into a truly representative and effective institution. This is not just a professional duty but a moral imperative for the betterment of Zimbabwe’s democratic future.