Political chaos escalates: ED Mnangagwa’s govt speaks on alleged interference in CCC party affairs

Sengezo Tshabangu

The government has urged the opposition CCC to refrain from tarnishing the reputation and integrity of state institutions by attributing their internal conflicts to them.

The CCC recently experienced internal strife, resulting in the recall of several members from their parliamentary and council positions. Mr. Sengezo Tshabangu, claiming to be the CCC’s interim secretary-general, initiated the recalls by writing to the Speaker of the National Assembly. However, the CCC later announced its temporary disengagement from parliamentary and council activities.

In response to these developments, acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Professor Amon Murwira, issued a statement clarifying that the CCC’s internal power struggles should not be misinterpreted as a national issue. He emphasized that political parties are not obliged by law to participate in national processes. Recalling Members of Parliament is the responsibility of the political party to which the affected member belongs, as stated in Section 129(1)(k) of the Zimbabwe Constitution. The party must submit a written notice to the Speaker of the National Assembly or the President of the Senate. The recalls are not initiated by the government or the ruling ZANU PF party.

Professor Murwira further explained that the Speaker of the National Assembly and the President of the Senate are obligated by law to promptly act on communications received from political parties regarding recalls. They do not have discretion in these matters and must follow the law. He clarified that they cannot alter or block such communications, and only the authors of the communication can revoke it.

While there is no legal requirement for political parties to have constitutions and structures, Professor Murwira stressed their importance in avoiding confusion. He stated that if an opposition party voluntarily chooses to temporarily or permanently remove itself from legislative processes, it does not create a constitutional crisis. Parties and individuals have the right to participate or abstain from national processes, as there is no law in Zimbabwe compelling participation.

Political analysts noted that the recalls of CCC MPs were likely due to the party’s controversial candidate-selection process before the elections, which left some senior members dissatisfied. Notable figures affected by the process include former party vice president Mr. Tendai Biti, and former legislators Mr. Kucaca Phulu, Mr. Anele Ndebele, and Mr. Sengezo Tshabangu himself.

In light of these developments, a Bulawayo-based political analyst, Mr. Methuseli Moyo, commented on the situation, stating that a party without structures, constitution, and founding principles cannot maintain stability. He attributed the internal conflicts to the party’s opaque, controversial, and unfair candidate-selection process and held Mr. Chamisa, the party leader, responsible for the issues. Mr. Moyo suggested that Mr. Chamisa should engage with Mr. Tshabangu to find common ground, emphasizing that disengaging from Parliament would not resolve the issues.

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