By Nqobani Ndlovu
Former Makokoba opposition legislator Gorden Moyo has called for the amendment of section 129 (1) (k) of the constitution to prevent the recall of parliamentarians without the input of the electorate.
Moyo is a victim of recall having been expelled from Parliament in 2015 after breaking away from the late opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s party.
He was recalled alongside 21 other MPs like Tendai Biti.
They were to later form the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) with Biti as president and Moyo as secretary general.
Biti, who bounced back in Parliament on an MDC Alliance ticket in 2018, has since been recalled alongside five other PDP parliamentarians Sichelesile Mahlangu, Kucaca Phulu, Willias Madzimure, Settlement Chikwinya and Regai Tsunga.
Moyo, who has quit politics, argued the section allowing for the recall of parliamentarians should be amended to make it mandatory for the electorate to be involved in any exercise to expel their representatives from Parliament.
In terms of section 129(1)(k) of the constitution, legislators and councils can be recalled from Parliament through a letter by a political party to the speaker of Parliament.
“For example, it has to be mandatory that at least 1 000 signatures are gathered before parliament accepts letters of recall,” Moyo told a policy dialogue meeting held in the city under the topic: Impact of Recalls on Democracy and Civic Participation: Do Elections matter?
The meeting was organised by Women’s Institute for Leadership Development, an independent civic group.
“We have a problem in our constitution, which agrees that people should be recalled from Parliament.
“That provision that allows people to be recalled from Parliament, when they were elected; thousands of the people shows a defect in the constitution,” Moyo argued.
“I understand why that provision was put during the time of the inclusive government to protect the political parties to prevent floor crossing. I, however,have a problem with that provision where leaders can decide against the will of the people not based on principles, values or failure to deliver to recall MP’s.
“That has to change through an amendment of that section to protect the people’s vote.”
The recall of Biti and five other legislators followed a letter to the speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda by PDP secretary general Benjamin Rukanda, who argued the six had ceased to represent the party after it split into two factions in September 2017. Trade unionist Lucia Matibenga leads the PDP faction that Rukanda is a member of.
Biti, who was leader of the united PDP prior to the split, fronts a PDP faction that joined the MDC Alliance. The Standard