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Chaos as Chamisa's MPs defy Parly recall

by Staff reporter
11 Oct 2023 at 06:25hrs | Views
Parliament was engulfed in chaos yesterday as anti-riot police were summoned to remove opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) legislators who were protesting the recall of their 15 colleagues.

Sengezo Tshabangu, a CCC supporter from Bulawayo claiming to be the party's interim secretary-general, had recalled 15 CCC Members of Parliament (MPs) and 17 councillors, alleging that they were no longer members of the opposition party.

The turmoil unfolded after the Speaker of the National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda, officially announced the recall of the MPs.

Upon hearing the announcement, opposition MPs began singing and chanting slogans to denounce Mudenda, bringing parliamentary business to a standstill.

CCC interim organising secretary Amos Chibaya argued that Mudenda was out of line for accepting Tshabangu's letter.

"Mudenda, we sent you a letter on September 11, informing you that all communication must come from our president, Nelson Chamisa," Chibaya declared. "I don't think it is proper for you to rule in favor of Tshabangu."

In response, Mudenda ordered the recalled MPs to leave the House, but they refused and continued singing party songs. This led to anti-riot police being called in to remove them.

Efforts to obtain a comment from national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi were unsuccessful as his mobile phone went unanswered.

Mudenda also ruled that all CCC MPs would be banned from attending Parliament for six sittings and would lose two months' salaries for boycotting President Mnangagwa's state of the nation address the previous week.

As the CCC continued to be embroiled in chaos, Chamisa was engaged in lengthy meetings in Harare with party members to strategize following the recall of his MPs and councillors.

CCC interim spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi stated that they would announce their next steps in due course. He said, "We will take action following a collective decision of all party organs. The consultative process is currently underway today (yesterday). We are holding a series of meetings to discuss the issue, and we will inform our members of the next course of action. However, we will not allow Zanu-PF to undermine the people's will."

Both Chamisa and the CCC have denounced Tshabangu as an imposter and a proxy of Zanu-PF. Zanu-PF, however, distanced itself from the recalls.

In a related development, human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa staged a solo protest in Harare against the recall of the MPs. She displayed a placard with the message "Tshabangu, respect our vote" during her demonstration.

"I did it to release the anger that was building up inside me," Mtetwa told NewsDay. "The recalls are an insult to the people of Bulawayo. One person has taken away their rights. For Mudenda, a lawyer, it's a disgrace to the legal profession. He disregarded the dictates of the law and acted in favor of political maneuvers."

Mudenda declined to comment on the matter outside of Parliament, stating, "I don't discuss these issues over the phone. You better check Hansard for my position on this issue."

Additionally, Tshabangu's spokesperson, Khalipani Phugeni, disowned a letter circulating on social media, claiming that Chamisa had also been expelled from the party. The letter alleged that Chamisa had been ousted for personalizing the party, among other allegations.

Phugeni stated, "It's a fake letter, there is nothing truthful about it. These are individuals trying to create mischief for no reason."

Chamisa launched the CCC in January last year after being ousted from the MDC Alliance by Douglas Mwonzora. Mwonzora subsequently took control of the party's headquarters, symbols, and emblems from Chamisa. The CCC has not held a congress to elect a permanent leadership since its formation.

Source - newsday
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