OPPOSITION MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has said the suspension of by-elections and subsequent return of MDC-T leader Thokozani Khupe to Parliament was a fraud and should not be tolerated.
Chamisa said the move was unconstitutional and, therefore, a nullity, adding that all the effort was meant to frustrate the people and subvert their vote.
“We have people who are in government out of a criminal conduct and fraud and they can only continue to be in government through fraud. Their foundation and framework is fraudulent and we cannot allow that to continue,” he said.
The opposition leader, who has been under siege amid recalls of Members of Parliament and councillors as well as the takeover of his party offices across the country, among other issues, said it was sad that a person rejected by the people used the backdoor to get back into Parliament.
Khupe will be sworn in as MP tomorrow together with others nominated by her party after the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission cleared them on Friday. MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said the suspension of the holding of by-elections was an indication that democracy was under siege.
Last Friday, Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, in his capacity as Health minister, suspended by-elections to fill seats for recalled MDC Alliance MPs and councillors.
The by-elections were scheduled for December, but Chiwenga suspended them, citing COVID-19 fears.
Khupe, who garnered only 45 000 votes in her attempt to be the country’s President against Chamisa’s over two million votes, will this week be sworn in as MP and ultimately become leader of opposition in Parliament. This is despite her party losing heavily in the 2018 elections, managing only two proportional representation seats. As a result of recalls by Khupe, 32 parliamentary seats and 165 council seats have fallen vacant.
Chamisa said his party was under siege, adding that it would rise again.
“They fight us because we are stronger. They attack us because we are resisting them. They pull us down because we are standing and not fallen. We will get there no matter what,” he wrote on his microblogging site Twitter.
However, government defended the suspension of the by-elections, with Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi saying it was “perfectly in order” as it was taken after considering public health during the COVID-19 pandemic.