Harare — Fifteen Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) MPs filed a court appeal, saying they were duped into losing their Parliamentary seats.
The party suffered losses when a man allegedly claiming as its secretary said that the MPs were no longer members. The 15 seats were declared vacant by Zimbabwe’s Parliamentary Speaker upon receipt of the letter.
The letter was signed “Sengezo Tshabangu”, and with the title of Secretary-General of Zimbabwe’s biggest opposition party. CCC leader Nelson Chamisa asked that the letter be ignored, saying that the party did not have a secretary-general, and had not removed or recalled any MPs. Despite the request, Jacob Mudenda, a Zanu-PF member of parliament, declared the 15 seats vacant.
Promise Mkhwananzi, spokesperson for the CCC, called Tshabangu and those helping him behind the scenes “Zanu-PF operatives”.
“The regime in Zimbabwe is so disdainful of the will & wishes of the people of Zimbabwe. Barely a month into its controversial term of illegitimacy, the regime has decided to further aggravate it’s illegitimacy by unawlfully recalling CCC elected officials using a bogus letter written and deployed by Tshabangu, a stooge to many faces that are yet to come to the open,” Mkhwananzi said in a statement.
“We will defend our right to vote, our freedom to choose, our constituency and our democracy with everything that we have got. It cannot and will not be business as usual. There comes a time where one has to draw a line in the sand, stand up & defend their dignity. Such a time has come. The people of Zimbabwe must and will take a stand. Otherwise there would be no point in voting only for the regime to willfully and woefully remove elected officials,” his statement read.
On Tuesday, October 10, a judicial appeal was filed by the affected CCC MPs. Political tensions in Zimbabwe have been high ever since the contentious presidential elections in August. Chamisa, 45, lost to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, 81, in a contest that international observers said did not meet democratic norms. After more than 40 years in power, Zanu-PF gained the majority in Parliament, but still lacks the number of lawmakers to amend the Constitution.
By-elections to follow might provide Zanu-PF, the ruling party, the majority it needs to take this action. The CCC said that more than a dozen members of its party, including MPs and council members, had been detained on false suspicions since the election.