‘Referendums should decide MPs recalls’

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Alice Kuvheya

BY SHARON BUWERIMWE
POLITICAL analysts and the voting public have urged the Legislature to come up with a law that stipulates that Members of Parliament (MPs) and councillors are only recalled through referendums instead of their political parties.

The call was in response to the recent by-elections most of which were triggered by MDC-T  leader Douglas Mwonzora.

Mwonzora, who is viewed as a Zanu PF appendage, dismally lost the March 26 by-elections, failing to get a single seat.

Section 129(k) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No 20) authorises leaders of political parties to recall MPs and councillors who have ceased to belong to the political party that elected them into
office.

Chitungwiza Residents Trust director Alice Kuvheya yesterday told NewsDay that residents should start lobbying for the repeal of Section 129(k).

“Citizens should have the power to recall their councillors and MPs. Mwonzora is not normal, after his barbaric recalls without consulting anyone, residents have still rejected him,” Kuvheya said.

Harare Residents Trust director Precious Shumba said section 129(k) promoted autocracy and undemocratic governance.

“That law is very undemocratic. It elevates political parties above the citizens and makes them the only authority responsible for recalling elected officials. A lot of the recalled councillors did not deserve to be recalled without the involvement of the
ratepayers. Mwonzora has become reckless and vindictive and Parliament must call him to order for creating a national emergency by the willy-nilly recalling of elected officials.

“Our proposal is that recalls must be done with the full participation of a certain threshold of registered voters in a ward or constituency. At least 30% participation and involvement of the affected electorate should help to counter the unlimited powers of political parties as stated in the Constitution,” Shumba said.

Political analyst Effie Ncube said:  “Mwonzora is being vindictive and is now costing the poor and struggling taxpayers a huge amount of money which should be directed at enhancing their livelihoods. It’s, therefore, high time we had a law which requires a local referendum to be held before recalls are carried out. The current system is being massively
abused.”

Another political analyst, Vivid Gwede, said:  “The Mwonzora outfit is clearly being fuelled by vindictive agendas rather than pursuing the interests of the Zimbabwean citizens who have rejected it in the by-elections. Any more rounds of recalls will serve no real purpose for anyone including that outfit, except to perpetuate what is now an attack on democracy
itself.”

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