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‘Recalls have no place in our democracy’ -Newsday Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has held three rounds of National Assembly by-elections in less than nine months after the 2023 harmonized elections.

ZIMBABWE’s revocation clause, which was born out of the need to thwart competition between and within parties, has no place in any material representative democracy, analysts and political actors have said.

Zimbabwe has held three rounds of National Assembly by-elections in less than nine months after the 2023 harmonized elections.

The by-elections followed the dismissals of the acting secretary-general of the self-proclaimed Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), Sengezo Tshabangu, who went on a rampage after the general election and dismissed more than 20 CCC lawmakers.

In terms of Article 129(1)(k) of the Constitution, legislators can be recalled from Parliament by a letter written by a political party to the Speaker of the National Assembly.

But during a virtual forum organized by the Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network, Oxford-educated Zimbabwean academic and researcher Phillan Zamchiya said the recall clause was bad and an undemocratic law.

“Zimbabwe has bad and undemocratic law. Article 129, which provides for dismissals by political parties, has no place in any material representative democracy. It was for convenience in 2013 because the Constitution-making process was controlled by the dominant political parties,” he said.

“The background of the retreats in Zimbabwe is immersed in the dark world of politics and power. Withdrawals have been used as an instrument to thwart competition between and within parties.

“In Zimbabwe, it was actually in the 1980s that Zanu PF introduced it to address their domestic politics. “It had nothing to do with the citizens under the national question of the moment.”

African Democratic and Labor Economists president Linda Masarira said the dismissals had caused many divisions within the parties while also compromising trust between party members.

He also revealed that his CCC counterparts confided in him that they were confused and did not know who to trust.

“The state of the opposition is that it is in a quagmire and there is a lot of mistrust and there is no longer democracy within the party,” he said.

“People just have to work hard to maintain their position in the party and I think it will take time to see an organized opposition in our country.”

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