The walkout by MDC parliamentarians during President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), is unjustified as there are no concrete reasons that clearly explain such fruitless and retrogressive behavior, when the whole world recognizes the president as the legitimate leader of the nation.
On several occasions, MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has been quoted nonsensically saying President Mnangangwa is illegitimate, and as such he is not supposed to lead this nation. Also, the MDC Members of Parliament (MPs) like their leader are pushing the wrong narrative that President Mnangagwa unlawfully assumed office. This narrative of illegitimacy is being used by the opposition MPs as their reason for walking out of the August house while President will be delivering his SONA. Advice to the embattled MDC, such grandstanding will never change the reality that President Mnangagwa was elected by the people and will remain in that position until 2023.
After the Con-Court dismissed their challenge on presidential election results, the MDC should not have continued with their claim that President Mnangagwa is illegitimate leader and at the same time claiming that they respect the rule of law. The best strategy they can employ right now is to introspect and find out where they went wrong in the last election for future planning of the 2023 election.
In the meantime, the MDC should be mindful of the fact that the country is now in the post election period, and focus should now be directed towards economic development. Surprisingly, the MDC MPs behaves as if the country is still in the election period. The MDC members hate progress, and that is a fact. MDC leaders do not want to see Zimbabwe prosper as this will defeat their nefarious agenda of achieving wide spread protests borne out of citizens laboring under the economic challenges. In simple terms, the MDC is sabotaging Government programs so as to derail progress and is very much ok with the status quo.
The MDCs’ poor decision to walk out during President Mnangagwa’s address depicts that MDC leaders are not even interested in the issue of dialogue, whether political or economic. Had it been that the MDC leaders are interested in joining Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD), their presence during SONA would have laid a foundation for talks between President Mnangagwa and their leader.
Reports have it that the ZANU PF MPs who were present during SONA revealed that they were so much interested in accommodating the issue of dialogue between the two parties had it been that MDC MPs showed goodwill and respected Government by attending SONA in Parliament.
In that regard, MDC MPs must not complain about the decision that was passed by Speaker of National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda that their sitting allowances should be withheld following their walkout from Parliament during SONA. Whether they challenge it or not, the Speakers’ decision was long overdue for these hypocritical parliamentarians. Members of Parliament should know that they are only representatives of the people who voted them into the August House and non-attendance is a betrayal of that which has been entrusted to them.
Honestly, how can one say that he or she is representing a certain constituency, when they boycott such a big event as SONA? How will people in their respective communities know of the current political and socio-economic activities taking place, if their representatives absent themselves from such special events for political expediency?
Some MDC MPs represent constituencies that are in rural areas, where farming programs such as Command Agriculture are practiced, and as such it will be the desire of the people they represent to hear what the President would have said, pertaining to issues that impact them.
By boycotting SONA and failing to recognize President Mnangangwa as the Head of State and Government, the MDC leadership is somehow, abusing the political democracy that was brought by the new dispensation. Democracy should make sense and should not be used to destroy fortunes of economic turnaround. It will be good to see democracy building up blocks of economic development, for the betterment of the people of Zimbabwe and the future generations. It should be noted that democracy and development works hand in glove.