Zanu-PF legislators have been turning turns to sing the praises of President Emmerson Mnangagwa in Parliament, while MPs from the opposition Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) have been absent from the House following recalls by self-proclaimed interim secretary-general Sengezo Tshabangu.
In letters dated 3 October, Tshabangu wrote to Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda and Local Government minister Winston Chitando recalling 15 legislators and 17 councillors.
Tshabangu said the legislators and councillors, elected on the CCC ticket, had ceased to be members of the opposition party and thus had lost their seats.
Mudenda immediately upheld Tshabangu’s request and the 15 recalled opposition lawmakers were expelled from Parliament, while those remaining have been docked two months’ pay for their reactions to the expulsion of the MPs.
In response, CCC leader Nelson Chamisa said they would disengage from Parliament until the speaker reinstates the expelled legislators. The absence of all CCC MPs has resulted in one-sided debate on Mnangagwa’s State of the Nation Address.
Mnangagwa painted a rosy picture of the situation in Zimbabwe despite deteriorating socio-economic conditions. For instance, during the first sitting, Zanu-PF MPs showered praises on Mnangagwa’s claim that Zimbabwe’s mining sector is growing.
“The President spoke about a vast number of developmental projects and strides made so far since the beginning of the new dispensation; inter alia, power supply improvement following the commissioning of Hwange Power Station Units 7 and 8; the road network rehabilitation,” said Tanatsiwa Mukomberi, Zanu-PF legislator for Masvingo South.
“Tourism industry on a growth trajectory, registering an increase of 62% in international tourist arrivals in the first half of 2023; the foreign exchange rate stability through fiscal and monetary policies in place and a greater degree of industrialisation and technological breakthrough; “The mining sector registered growth from US$2.8 billion in 2017 to US$12 billion to date; the growth in food security through the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Rural Development, to mention but a few. All these developmental strides are a testimony of good governance under the leadership of His Excellency Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa.”
This is despite latest statistics by the Zimbabwe Statistical Agency (ZimStat) show a different picture.
As previously reported by The NewsHawks, economics professor Gift Mugano said ministers are misleading Mnangagwa on the state of the mining economy.
“In some platform, Mnangagwa reported that the agricultural sector rose from US$5.7 billion to around US$8 billion in 2023. Using the mining sector and agricultural sector GDPs reported by Mnangagwa, it means that these two sectors add up to US$20 billion which is the current size of our economy.
“For avoidance of doubt, Zimbabwe’s GDP as at 11 August 2023 stood at ZW$120.3 trillion, i.e., US$20 billion at official exchange rate,” Mugano told The NewsHawks.
While Gokwe legislator Davison Masvisvi has also been praising Mnangagwa for introducing bills which he says seek to promote constitutionalism, the Zanu-PF leader has been under fire for leaving out crucial bills.
“Let me also congratulate all members of this august House for election to this highly respected House. The nation is looking up to us to contribute immensely and passing laws that set our country into a trajectory of development,” Masvisvi said.
“The President of the Second Republic, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa quoted several Bills which will be tabled before this august House. All of which seek to ensure that we conform to the dictates of our own Constitution. Of interest is the Climate Change Bill which sets the agenda of ensuring that communities are equipped in mitigating effects of climate change including drugs and other shocks of climate change that are not limited to natural phenomena.”
However, as reported by The NewsHawks, civil society has been griping over Mnangagwa’s choice to ignore crucial Bills from the 9th Parliament that would legislate illicit mineral flows.
The Centre for Research and Development (CRD) had hoped, for instance, that Mnangagwa would resuscitate crucial amendments to the Mines and Minerals Act, Gold Trade Act, Precious Stones Act and formulation of a policy on rare earth minerals, in the 10th Parliament, to plug the mineral leakages.
Zimbabwe has been operating without a national policy on the trade on gemstones such as ruby, sapphire, emerald, which leaves room for illicit financial flows in the gemstone sector.
Source – newshawks