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We’ll reclaim ‘stolen’ seats: MDC Alliance

By Desmond Chingarande

The opposition MDC Alliance has vowed to fight what it terms “the subversion of the people’s will” by taking back the parliamentary seats which the Thokozani Khupe-led MDC-T grabbed through parliamentary recalls and intends to fill with its nominees.

Kuwadzana East MP Chalton Hwende (second left) being sworn into Parliament. (Picture by Brighton Chihwayi - Photo Phactory Zimbabwe)
Kuwadzana East MP Chalton Hwende (second left) being sworn into Parliament. (Picture by Brighton Chihwayi – Photo Phactory Zimbabwe)

MDC Alliance secretary-general Chalton Hwende said the party was concluding consultations with the electorate to block the unconstitutional and subversion of the people’s will.

“The people voted us into office and the Zanu PF government is trying to block the social contract that we signed with the electorate. This is clearly a subversion of the people’s will.

The people are now being forced to be led by the people they rejected in elections,” he said.

“We are concluding our consultations with the electorate and we will advise the route we are taking. The Zanu PF government has turned this country to be among fascist regimes. The voters will express their anger on the subversion of their will.”

In a notice yesterday, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) chief executive officer Utoile Silaigwana said the commission was ready to fill the vacant 15 proportional representation posts in line with section 39 of the Electoral Act.

“Zimbabwe Electoral Commission would like to inform the public that it is proceeding with filling in the proportional representation vacant seats which arose from recalls made by MDC-T party in line with provisions of section 39 of the Electoral Act,” he said.

“It is important to note that the commission is not the arbiter of who may or not recall a Member of Parliament. It merely facilitates the filling of the resultant vacancy in the confidence that Parliament has conformed to its governing procedures and to the law in notifying it of the vacancies.”

Silaigwana said if there were objections to the creation of the vacancy, the “remedy for that lies not in an attack on the performance of peremptory statutory functions by the commission, but elsewhere”

Last week, legal think-tank Veritas warned that Zec might entangle itself in legal hurdles if it fills the vacancies as the recalls were legally questionable.

Parliament accepted the recall of the MPs from the Nelson Chamisa-led party despite that the fired legislators contested under MDC Alliance and competed against MDC-T candidates.

MDC-T acting secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora recalled 21 MDC Alliance legislators from Parliament after the Supreme Court judgment of March 30, 2020 restored Khupe as interim party leader.

Some MDC Alliance councillors have also been recalled.

MDC-T acting spokesperson Khaliphani Phugeni yesterday said the party had already sent its nominees list to Zec.

“The secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora has submitted the list to Zec and there is no violation of the Constitution because it is clear that when a party sponsors a member to represent Parliament and if that sponsored member ceases to be a member of that party, that party can choose a representative. The Constitution is being followed here,” he said.

In Harare, the party nominated Yvonne Musarurwa and Lindani Moyo, Mashonaland Central (Sawuke January), Manicaland (Getrude Moyo), Matabeleland South (Sipho Mokone and Nomalanga Khumalo), Bulawayo (Khupe, Phugeni, Tamano Moyo and Dorothy Ndlovu), Matabeleland North (Chief Ndlovu and Lwazi Sibanda), Midlands (Teti Banda), Masvingo (Memory Munochinzwa) and Mashonaland East (Piniel Denga).

The MDC Alliance yesterday said the move was meant to cripple its leader Chamisa through the court rulings and give an edge to Zanu PF.

According to a source, the MDC-T is expected to recall more constituency-based legislators from the MDC Alliance when Parliament resumes sitting next Tuesday.

The High Court on Friday dismissed an urgent bid by 14 recalled legislators to stop the MDC-T from replacing them in Parliament.

Political analyst Rashweat Mukundu said Zec was violating the Electoral Act and voters’ rights.

“People cast their ballots in the 2018 harmonised elections and they picked MDC Alliance candidates against MDC-T candidates, so this is a gross violation of the rights of the electorate. This shows how interference of the Judiciary by the State has made this to happen,” he said.

“Filling the vacant posts with MDC-T candidates is violating voter’s rights. Even those parliamentarians (MDC Alliance) who supported Khupe have violated their social contract with voters. This shows the high level of political chaos in this country and it needs to be corrected sooner rather than later.” News Day

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