THE opposition MDC-T has rallied its supporters to brace for the dissolution of Parliament and proclamation of new general election dates in the next few months amid reports that the ruling Zanu PF party wanted to get rid of 100 of its legislators linked to ousted former Vice-President Joice Mujuru.
MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said fresh general elections were now inevitable given that the opposition party has also initiated plans to recall its 19 legislators, who defected to MDC Renewal Team over the past few months.
“Let’s all brace ourselves for the dissolution of the Parliament of Zimbabwe in the next few months,” Gutu said in a weekend post on his micro blogging Facebookpage.
“A new era is beckoning. History is about to be made. We have to be extremely cautious. As Zanu PF inevitably crumbles like a deck of cards, there will be several twists and turns.
“The regime has got its back against the wall; it’s completely broke, but paranoid and hence, extremely dangerous,” Gutu said.
He however warned that the MDC-T would only agree to participate in the impending elections if its demands for electoral reforms were implemented.
Although Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo could not be reached for comment yesterday, analysts said the move was meant to pre-empt MDC-T threats to impeach President Robert Mugabe with the help of Mujuru’s backers.
The MDC-T, which has 91 legislators, needs the backing of Zanu PF MPs for their impeachment plans to succeed. Zanu PF has 234 legislators.
Mugabe is legally obliged to dissolve Parliament once the majority of seats have fallen vacant and proclaim fresh election dates within 90 days.
Both Zanu PF and the MDC-T camps have of late experienced internal turbulence following their respective elective congresses which claimed the scalps of several party bigwigs.
The MDC-T lost 19 legislators after forming theiroutfit MDC Renewal Team following their fallout with leader Morgan Tsvangirai accusing him of dictatorship.
The party has already advised Speaker of the House of Assembly Jacob Mudenda and Senate president Edna Madzongwe to declare the MPs’ seats vacant to pave way for by-elections.
Zanu PF, which on the other hand has purged 16 ministers linked to Mujuru, was reportedly contemplating recalling them from Parliament over allegations of plotting to topple President Robert Mugabe.
“We are happy that at last Zanu PF has reached a waterloo and remembered to respect provisions of the constitution which oblige the Speaker and the Senate president to declare seats as vacant once advised by parties in Parliament. We were getting worried over their reluctance to do so. Now that Zanu PF itself has made similar overtures, the process is expected to move faster,” Gutu said.
Sources in Zanu PF said the recall would be spearheaded by the party’s provincial executive councils.
“The recall is likely to be carried out in phases followed by a round of by-elections to avoid a scenario where President Mugabe would be legally obliged to dissolve Parliament and call for fresh polls if the recall is done en-masse,” a Zanu PF insider, who declined to be named said.
“Either way, President Mugabe has nothing to lose because even if he proclaims fresh election dates today, there is no way the purged Zanu PF legislators would contest against ruling party candidates as independents. Again, there is no way the opposition can mobilise its membership and overturn Zanu PF’s parliamentary majority given the divisions within most of the opposition parties.
“The renegade Zanu PF MPs know the consequences of fighting the ruling party from within and without, so they would rather hold back and let the party’s chosen candidates sail through.”
Zanu PF Mashonaland Central provincial chairperson Dickson Mafios last week, said they had identified 10 legislators for possible recall.
“These MPs are a shame to the party and as a province; we will not allow them to represent Zanu PF anymore,” Mafios said.
These includedNicholas Goche (Shamva North), Brigadier General Epmarcus Walter Kanhanga (Guruve North), David Butau (Mbire), Chriswell Mutematsaka (Guruve South), Edgar Chidavaenzi (Mazowe North), Kenneth Musanhu (Bindura North), Christopher Chitindi (Muzarabani South), Fortune Chasi (Mazowe South), Alice Chimbudzi (Mashonaland Central senator) and Shamva South legislator Joseph Mapiki.
Other provinces have also indicated that they will roll out similar purges in the next few weeks with Mashonaland West acting provincial chairperson Ziyambi Ziyambi indicating that they were targeting suspended chairman and Hurungwe West MP Temba Mliswa, Makonde MP Kindness Paradza, Mhondoro MP Syvester Nguni and Chegutu East MP Webster Shamu.