ED to recall errant MPs

HARARE - President Emmerson Mnangagwa has threatened to recall incompetent Members of Parliament from his party, including those who refuse to tow the party line in pursuit of narrow factional agendas.

While addressing a Zanu PF women’s league national assembly in Harare last week, Mnangagwa warned that he would not hesitate to call for by-elections to replace the errant legislators.

He said there were some MPs in the party who were voted into the august House before they were politically ripe after taking advantage of the chaos that characterised the ruling party’s primary polls held in May this year.

“MPs must work for the people and play their oversight role on the Executive but we know there are some who were rushed into Parliament yet they were not ripe. We will not hesitate to recall you from Parliament and call for a by-election in line with the Constitution because our party has rules, Mnangagwa said.

The president spoke amid tensions in his party over what many perceive to be unresolved succession issues.

Five months after his narrow election to lead the country for the next five years, Mnangagwa appears desperate to consolidate his power base.

Currently, his allies are falling over each other to endorse his candidature for the 2023 polls, with the Zanu PF women and youth leagues joining the war veterans in rallying support for Mnangagwa.

The endorsements are meant to close the door on ambitious party cadres who believe that Mnangagwa must serve one term and allow a new pair of hands to lead the country after the 2023 polls.

In May, the 76-year-old Zanu PF leader revealed that he had uncovered a plot by his MPs to impeach him after winning the July 30 elections.

“I got intelligence that some of those who have won this primary election have two minds. They have gone to join the Zanu PF wagon using various means, money included, to be elected with a possible view (that) once in Parliament they will band together and move a motion of impeachment,” said Mnangagwa at the time.

By threatening to expel underperformers and those who do not tow the party line, Mnangagwa now seems to be going for the jugular.

The country’s Constitution gives parties with representatives in Parliament the right to recall their MPs if they feel they no longer represent their interests in the august House.

It provides that a party that decides to use that right to recall does so by writing to the National Assembly Speaker through its secretary-general.

The speaker would then make a public announcement in Parliament and declare the respective seat vacant to open the door for the president to gazette dates for a by-election.

Last week, Mnangagwa suggested that the chaos that epitomised the ruling party’s internal polls was down to the inexperience of its political commissar Engelbert Rugeje which saw some undeserving candidates being imposed on the electorate.

Rugeje, a former brigadier in the army, was plucked from the barracks and catapulted to lead the Zanu PF commissariat department after the ouster of former president Robert Mugabe in November last year.

He took over from former Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere who, along with Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao and former Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo had to skip the country to escape the military which was in hot pursuit of “criminals around” Mugabe.

The military operation, code-named Operation Restore Legacy was targeting members of the Generation 40 faction, which was opposed to Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe.

“When we held our primary elections this year, there were a lot of errors and problems. Those who were not strong enough could have been affected to the extent of quitting the party. You did not because you have the party at heart, you proceeded to vote for those imposed candidates although you were unhappy with the imposition,” he said.

Mnangagwa said the chief culprits in the imposition scandal were the party leadership.

“I do not think the juniors have the capacity to impose the seniors to positions, but instead, it is the seniors who can endorse people.

“We are totally against imposition of candidates. That will never happen again. The people’s choice must be respected. If people choose the leader they want and you take them for fools and impose the one that you want, you end up being the real fool,” he said.

 

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Comments (4)

I think we should avoid the South African disease of recalling elected persons. It is a measure of discontinuity and will result in politicians avoiding tough but necessary decisions. Let us give ED a chance to correct his party's mess.

New Dispensation - 10 December 2018

This is ED's official language: threats.

Inyika - 11 December 2018

The thinking of the President is noble we can not have MPs who are elected to go and snooze in parliament and when they wake up they hallucinate. This should apply to all political parties we can not have elected MPs who are in parliament just to disrupt the business of the august house on every motion raised. I would like to further suggest that CDF be scraped since we now have devolution in place. Constituencies should channel their developmental projects through the office of their Resident Ministers, they should fit in those programmes, get their finances from the $310 million not at any extra budget.

Mafirakureva - 11 December 2018

. ZANU has always fared dismally in introducing internal democratic reforms which would allow for the smooth succession and transfer of power and authority from one generation to the other. Mugabe used this shortcoming to his advantage and stayed in power for decades until he had to be forcibly ejected. ED is now following closely in his footsteps . The Gwanda conference should have tackled this issue head on and become the watershed marking the revival of ZANU as the party of the people, a title that is used to deserve and revel in soon after independence . Regrettably the Congress will just become a mere ritual to pay homage and anoint yet another leader whose ego will soon intoxicate him to stay in power indefinitely. Some of us who were born and bred in ZANU have observed and brought this up in the past for remedy only to be tagged as reactionaries (vatengesi) . Anything short of meaningful reform will precipitate the demise of ZANU and consign the once revolutionary party to the doldrums of history. The spectre of redundancy that befell UNIP in Zambia and the MCP in Malawi looms large over ZANU PF. This is in contrast with Chama Chamapinduzi in Tanzania, Frelimo in Mozambique and SWAPO in Namibia that have ushered in substantial internal reforms which address issues like leadership and succession policies. ZANU should stop this annual charade and begin an honest and introspective assessment of its structures and institutions so that they will conform with a people oriented and a new and dynamic political dispensation. Gwanda will represent a lost opportunity and entrench the rigidity which treats people with dissenting or varying opinions as enemies instead of constructive critics whose voices and opinions deserve to be listened to or even be made use of.

Jaikolu Maison - 11 December 2018

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