Chamisa’s legislators take heed and snub parliament

Parliament Building
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IN A significant boost for Nelson Chamisa in his battle for control of the MDC, the majority of the warring party’s Harare legislators stayed away from Parliament yesterday, the Daily News reports.

This came after Parliament briefly resumed sitting in the capital, and as Chamisa and his allies have filed a court application challenging the recent recall of four party legislators from the august House by the MDC’s interim leadership.

Party senators Christine Rambanepasi (Buhera), Tichinani Mavetera (Masvingo) and Morgan Femai (Harare) attended the upper chamber’s sitting, while MP Winnie Kankuni (Sunningdale) pitched up for the National Assembly’s business.

Some of the party’s MPs who were absent from yesterday’s sitting had last week defied Chamisa’s call to “disengage” from Parliament.

The sitting did not last an hour and was adjourned to next Tuesday by National Assembly Speaker Jacob Mudenda, who announced that virtual sittings would be considered for future sessions.

But reinstated MDC secretary general Douglas Mwonzora downplayed yesterday’s development, which he said was caused by “misinformation” by Chamisa’s group.

“We are not worried about the low attendance because we are aware that MPs were treated to false information by the Chamisa group, that they had won the power to recall on Monday.

“That of course is a falsehood. We reiterate that it is important for Parliament to sit and dispense with its business, especially that relating to the Covid-19 pandemic,” Mwonzora, who was in Parliament along with Morgen Komichi and Elias Mudzuri, said.

“We are in an emergency caused by the global Covid-19 pandemic and Parliament must play a critical role in the allocation of state resources towards institutions dealing with this pandemic.

“It also plays a critical supervisory role in respect of the institutions concerned. Because of this pandemic, the government has to make resources available to bail out companies which are distressed due to the pandemic.

“Further, there is need to allocate more resources to take care of distressed families and persons,” Mwonzora added.

“It is important that Parliament makes sure that all state resources are distributed in a non-partisan manner.
“We take cognisance of the fact that because of last year’s drought there is a food shortage in the country.
“This has to be addressed in a comprehensive and non-partisan manner to make sure that no Zimbabwean dies of hunger,” Mwonzora said further.

This comes as Chamisa and his allies have appeared to be in disarray ever since the Supreme Court delivered its ruling on the party’s leadership ructions at the end of March.

The country’s highest court upheld last year’s ruling by the High Court which said Chamisa’s ascendancy to the leadership of the MDC had violated the main opposition party’s constitution.

In the unanimous judgement that was handed down by Supreme Court judges Paddington Garwe, Bharat Patel and Antoinette Guvava, Chamisa’s elevation to the MDC’s presidency was thus declared unconstitutional, and null and void.

In addition to installing Thokozani Khupe as interim party president, the court also ordered her to convene an extraordinary MDC congress to elect a new leadership within three months.

Recently, the Khupe group successfully recalled Chalton Hwende (Kuwadzana East), Tabitha Khumalo (MDC proportional representative), Prosper Mutseyami (Dangamvura) and Midlands senator Lillian Timveos from Parliament, as it flexed its muscles and demonstrated that it is fully in charge of the beleaguered party for now.

Source – dailynews