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Shades of 2008

CCC leader Nelson Chamisa on Wednesday said the disengagement by his team in Parliament and local authorities would only end after the issue of recalls has been addressed.

THE Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has temporarily withdrawn its officials from Parliament and local authorities in protest over the recall of its lawmakers and councillors.

The recalls are being instigated by self-proclaimed CCC interim secretary-general Sengezo Tshabangu on the basis that the 15 Members of Parliament (MPs) and 17 councillors have ceased to be members of the party.

CCC leader Nelson Chamisa on Wednesday said the disengagement by his team in Parliament and local authorities would only end after the issue of recalls has been addressed.

Whatever the chaos that will ensue, the National Assembly and local authorities should take the flak for entertaining Tshabangu, widely seen as a tortoise on a lamppost.

In the case of the National Assembly, the Speaker Jacob Mudenda was informed in September that official CCC communications would come from Chamisa’s office. How he allowed the Tshabangu “letter” to stand even after communication from the party and after CCC disowned Tshabangu defies logic.

There are several unanswered questions: Is Mudenda taking instructions from somewhere? If yes, what does it mean on the rule of separation of powers among the Executive, Judiciary, and Legislature? Is this a push to give Zanu PF a two-thirds majority on a silver platter? Will Mudenda entertain any person who approaches his office to recall a Zanu PF MP?

In the court of public opinion, the National Assembly’s action on recalls is improper and appears to have been foisted on them by a third party.

This will give credence to a third party’s involvement in planning for the recalls.

Mr Speaker Sir, public opinion is stronger than the Legislature and nearly as strong as the 10 commandments, according to the late essayist Charles Dudley Warner.

Be that as it may, these political developments will further worsen the already deteriorating environment after the disputed August 23 and 24 elections.

Chamisa has described the election results as a “gigantic fraud”.

His MPs boycotted the official opening of the 10th Parliament by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.  In response, Parliament has suspended CCC legislators for six sittings and docked their salaries for two months for boycotting Mnangagwa’s state of the nation address.

We have seen Zanu PF politicians and activists rubbing their hands with glee and praying for the total withdrawal of CCC from Parliament and local authorities. This will be a hollow victory. The economy requires confidence — which in our case is in short supply.

Policies by the Treasury and the central bank have struggled to fly due to the absence of investor confidence.

The biggest confidence booster is sorting out the politics which is dragging the economy.

In 2008, the late President Robert Mugabe thought he would go at it alone after a bloody run-off in which he was the sole candidate. The economy immediately went into a tailspin.

As the ghost of 2008 returns, the economy will be the biggest loser. Capital is a cowardly bird that flies to a safer place. It flees from corruption and bad policies, conflict and unpredictability, as former US secretary of state Colin Powell once said.

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