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I don't even know the person who recalled me, says Pumula MP

by Staff reporter
25 Mar 2021 at 05:58hrs | Views
FORMER Pumula MP Sichelesile Mahlangu has claimed that the People's Democratic Party (PDP) secretary-general Benjamin Rukanda, who caused her recall together with five other MDC Alliance legislators from Parliament last week, had confessed that he did not even know some of the legislators that he recalled.

Mahlangu was recalled from Parliament by the PDP together with Tendai Biti (Harare East), Kucaca Phulu (Nkulumane), Willias Madzimure (Kambuzuma), Settlement Chikwinya (Mbizo) and Regai Tsunga (Mutasa South).

The recall followed a letter to the Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Madenda by Rukanda, who argued that the six had ceased to represent the PDP after it split into two factions in September 2017.

Trade unionist Lucia Matibenga leads the PDP faction that Rukanda is a member of, although her faction contested the 2018 elections under the Rainbow Coalition led by former Vice-President Joice Mujuru.

Biti, who was leader of the united PDP prior to the split, fronted a faction that joined the MDC Alliance.

Mahlangu told a policy dialogue meeting in Bulawayo that she was still to come to terms with her recall from Parliament by the Matibenga-led PDP last week, claiming that she did not even know the official who caused her removal from Parliament.

The policy dialogue meeting, organised by the Women's Institute for Leadership Development, discussed the impact of the recalls on democracy and civic participation, as well as whether elections still mattered in Zimbabwe.

"I don't understand why someone I don't know decided to recall me from Parliament. I don't know him and he doesn't know me, but he had the audacity to write a letter to Parliament so that I must be recalled," Mahlangu said.

"I had to call the person and upon meeting me, I realised that he did not even recognise me. I asked him whether he knew me and he confessed that he did not. I asked him a simple question: ‘Why did you recall me?' and he only said 'it's a party resolution'. I asked him whether he knew that I belonged to the Biti PDP party after we split and he confessed that he did not know," she said.

The recalls by the Douglas Mwonzora-led MDC-T and PDP have created around 40 vacant seats in Parliament, while more than 80 council seats are also vacant.

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission commissioner Qhubani Moyo, who was one of the speakers at the policy dialogue meeting, said the electoral body was ready to conduct by-elections once measures to protect candidates and voters from COVID-19 were in place.

He cited the death of CongoBrazzaville presidential candidate, Guy Brice Parfait Kolelas, from COVID-19 as an example of the danger of holding elections during the pandemic.

Source - newsday