By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration has worked with reinstated MDC-T secretary general Douglas Mwonzora to ban by-elections in order for Zanu PF to fulfill a plan to make Zimbabwe a one party state says political analyst Dr Pedzisai Ruhanya.
Government on Friday, though a Statutory Instrument 225A of 2020, controversially suspended this year’s by-elections citing the Covid-19 threat.
The decision did not go well with political commentators who argued that it was meant to cripple the MDC Alliance from returning recalled seats by the MDC-T faction.
Political commentator Dr Pedzisai Ruhanya said the decision to ban by-elections was orchestrated by former Army Commander and health minister Constantino Chiwenga in order not to give recalled Nelson Chamisa MPs a chance to reclaim their seats.
Ruhanya added that the decision was not only a resemblance of a “Banana Republic” but a “blind fascist militarised dictatorship.”
“You now know who briefs Dougie and Khupe. They recalled 10 Mps on Thursday 1 October 2020. On Friday 2 October 2020 ZANU PF bans by-elections and you think it’s a coincidence!
“Ministry of Health headed by a military general banning by-elections in Zimbabwe. Mugabe is having the last and longest laugh in his grave. Baba van sit hole, chirandu iweeee!
“FUNDAMENTALLY, this is a projection of a Banana Republic. Don’t be misled by the COVID-19 rubbish. These people steal COVID-19 funds, they don’t care for anyone.
“The ban is fear of Nelson Chamisa and a protection of Dougie, Khupe and ZANU PF. Fear of huge defeat, political embarrassment.
“If MDC Alliance Chamisa is finished as VARAKASHI say, why ban by-elections. It’s simple; ZANU PF and Dougie group would have been thoroughly beaten. They fear @nelsonchamisa to the extent of banning polls. They want Khupe to fire everyone and she becomes leader by decree
“We have an unfolding MONUMENTALLY blind fascist militarised dictatorship unfolding in Zimbabwe, an ignorant one for that matter but extremely evil and violent. This is the V11 of a ruling class without ruling ideas,” Ruhanya said.
Meanwhile, commenting on the suspension of by-elections, UK based law expert Dr Alex Magaisa tweeted; “Critics warned that COVID19 would present an opportunity for dictators to mount an assault on democracy. Statutory Instrument 225A effectively banning by-elections in Zimbabwe is living proof of it. Mnangagwa is lifting restrictions in other areas, but not in elections.
“But the legality of this Statutory Instrument is doubtful. It seeks to amend not only the Electoral Act but also the Constitution. The Minister of Health does not have the power to do that. Second, the SI cannot operate retrospectively as it seeks to do. It’s all very clumsy.”
This comes at a time when more than 35 MDC Alliance legislators and councillors were recalled this year by the the Thokozani Khupe led MDC-T party after they were accused of supporting the main opposition MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa.
The MDC-T, through Mwonzora recalled ten MDC Alliance legislators from Parliament, including the main opposition’s Vice president Lynette Karenyi.
He recalled, Dorcas Sibanda, (Bulawayo Proportional Representation) Caston Matewu, (Marondera Central) Lynette Karenyi Kore, (Proportional Rep.) Concilia Chinanzvavana, (Proportional Rep. Zvimba) Susan Matsunga, (Mufakose) Prince Dubeko Sibanda, (Binga North) Vunganai Tarusenga, Eric Murai, (Highfields East) Wellington Chikombo (Glen Norah) and Etheridge Kureva (Epworth).
MDC-T has already recalled more than 35 MDC Alliance MPs and councillors accusing them of supporting the main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa.
Mwonzora and Khupe got the powers to recall from a May Supreme Court ruling that declared Chamisa’s leadership illegitimate and instructed the party to go for an extraordinary congress through the 2014 structures.
Chamisa has since declined to respect the order, arguing that it was influenced by the rival ruling party Zanu PF.
The latest recalls come at a time when MDC youths under 2014 structures Paul Gorekore, Harare Province Chairperson took over the Harvest House Headquarters on Monday and demanded that party leaders reunite the party.
Mwonzora has accused the youths of being sent by Chamisa to reoccupy the party headquarters.