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Opinion / Columnist

Parly walk out: demonstration of childish confusion

25 Sep 2018 at 17:22hrs | Views
The elections were held on 30 July and President Emmerson Mnangagwa was declared the winner, a fact which was confirmed by Chief Justice Luke Malaba and his eight member bench on 24 August 2018 following a Constitutional Court petition by the MDC Alliance presidential election candidate, Nelson Chamisa. Nearly two months down the line, Chamisa continues to nurse bitterness which is exhibiting itself in his bad influence on the MDC Alliance legislators and his shameless attempts to meddle in the affairs of urban local authorities which are dominated by councillors from his political formation.

Last Wednesday as President Mnangagwa officially opened the ninth Parliament and delivered his state of the nation address. Instead of accepting defeat and moving forward with everyone as a nation, Chamisa directed MDC Alliance legislators to walk out as the President delivered his address. It was evident that instruction were coming from a few hundred metres down the road at Harvest (of thorns) House. The legislators obviously want the benefits that go with sitting legislators such as allowances and motor vehicles and this goes against the desires and designs of Chamisa who is pursuing a vengeance agenda against President Mnangagwa for his electoral loss.

At the end of the day the legislators looked like marionettes in Chamisa's fingers – doing his bidding against their wishes. This explains why they had to troop back after obeying Chamisa's command. While it may be their constitutional right to protest, the act left them conflicted. So the legislators do not recognise President Mnangagwa but recognise the Government which he leads from which they are eagerly expecting allowances and motor vehicles. If this is not crass hypocrisy, nothing is. It is a shameless display of double standards.

The legislators should remember they did not obtain the right to be in Parliament out of their efforts - especially given that most of them win on the basis of the urban location of their constituencies and not because they earn the electorate's vote. No electorate would support a legislator who absconds a Parliamentary session in pursuit of a narrow interests of a selfish and narcissist losing politician at the expense of the nation's progress. When legislators specialise in heckling the President instead of tackling their constituents' concerns and anxieties, they abandon the people and cease to be people's representatives. They begin to serve themselves and their lonely, bitter leader. Put differently, after being voted into Parliament they become free agents who pursue their agenda and the people suddenly become of no consequence.

It seems that the culture of serving oneself at the expense of the electorate is deep-seated in the MDC Alliance. Despite the people thwarting his underhand machinations to impose a mayor of his preference in Victoria Falls, Chamisa is reported to be contemplating forcing his way by asking the winner and the people's choice, Councillor Somvelo Dlamini, to step down and pave way for his preferred candidate, Councillor Margaret Valley. This, however, is not surprising given the fact that Chamisa also rose to the leadership of his MDC-T faction through undemocratic means. He imposed himself on the party pushing aside the rightful heiress, Dr Thokozani Khupe.

It is, however, very gratifying to note that not all MDC Alliance office bearers carry the Chamisa selfishness gene in them. It was refreshing to note that Masvingo Mayor, Collin Maboke, despite being a member of the MDC Chamisa faction, attended the Minister of State for Masvingo, Ezira Ruvai Chadzamira's inaugural meeting last week by. He demonstrated political maturity by heeding President Mnangagwa's call for unity among Zimbabwe as the nation seeks to rebuild its country. It was a heavenly sight, which only the devil's demons would detest, to see Harare Mayor, Herbert Gomba from the MDC Chamisa faction walking together with President Mnangagwa as they toured the cholera-affected areas of Glen View high density suburb in Harare last week. It was a beautiful sight of Zimbabweans working together to solve their country's challenges and not a ZANU PF-MDC issue.

Zimbabwe needs more of that than the divisive poisonous prescription from politicians who are just obssessed with power at the expense of the welfare of the people and posterity.

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