The government of Zimbabwe has issued a warning to the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), cautioning them against taking any actions that may incite upheaval under the guise of democracy. Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amon Murwira, conveyed this message during an address to African Union ambassadors in Harare.
While disassociating the government from the CCC recalls, Murwira indirectly accused CCC leader Nelson Chamisa of undemocratic behavior. He referred to Chamisa’s refusal to accept the results of the presidential election in August, where Chamisa declared that he would only recognize a victory in his favour. Murwira criticized such conduct, labelling it as an attack on democracy, constitutionalism, and the rule of law.
Murwira emphasized that Zimbabwean law requires the prompt action of the Speaker of the National Assembly and the President of the Senate in response to communications from political entities regarding recalls. He clarified that neither official can alter or impede such communications once they have been presented. Murwira stated that only the authors of such communications have the authority to initiate a reversal.
Regarding political prisoners, Murwira denied their existence, despite opposition claims to the contrary. Job Sikhala, a former legislator who has been in custody for over 400 days, has been cited by the opposition as an example of a political prisoner. However, Murwira dismissed these allegations.
Speaking tom NewsDay, political analyst Rejoice Ngwenya criticized Murwira’s remarks about Chamisa and the recalls, describing them as baseless. Ngwenya argued that the Constitution mandates free and fair elections and that observers reported deficiencies in the electoral process. Ngwenya also emphasized the right to peaceful demonstrations and questioned the independence of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
“The Constitution says elections ought to be free and fair. Observers reported that elections were not free and fair, so end of story,” he said.
“Constitution allows us to demonstrate peacefully. Have we been afforded that opportunity? Zec (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission) must be independent, right? When Msengezi tried to recall ED, what happened? So the Speaker is a cyborg that responds to any letter from the street?”