MDC Alliance move will short change the electorate

By Lynette Manzini

The resolution by the MDC Alliance National Standing Committee ordering members of Parliament from their party to suspend their oversight role, will shortchange the constituents they should be representing, Radio VOP has learnt.

In solidarity with the four MP’s recalled from parliament by the reinstated Secretary General Douglas Mwonzora of the MDC-T,  Nelson Chamisa led MDC Alliance resolved that all MP’s were to disengage from parliamentary duties until the party concludes consultations with relevant stakeholders.

The MDC Alliance deputy chairperson Job Sikhala stated the party position during a press conference recently.

A Supreme Court judgment last month ordered the MDC-T to revert to the 2014 structures acknowledging Thokozani Khupe as the bona-fide leader of the party after Nelson Chamisa had unconstitutionally usurped power of the party flowing the death of the founding party leader Morgan Tsvangirai 2018.

Despite Khupe being elected vice president of the MDC-T in 2014, the late Tsvangirai appointed Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri as additional vice presidents in 2016, a scenario deemed unconstitutional by analysts.

In an exclusive interview with Radio VOP constitutional lawyer David Hofisi (pictured) underscored the implications of the move adopted by the MDC Alliance.

“It means no capacity to hold government accountable through parliamentary portfolio committees. It also means no representation for constituents,” Hofisi said.

Parliamentary committees are made up of MP’s who ensure that public resource allocations and policy making more transparent and open.

The committees narrow the gap between government and the electorate as they contribute to the policy making process, through written submissions or by participating in public hearings.

Disengagement of MDC Alliance MP’s from parliamentary duty resultantly allows ZanuPF to get away with impunity.

Hofisi added that, “Whilst the opposition wants to avoid the creation of a one party state, this is actually what they are conceding by taking steps to make parliament a one party chamber.”

The Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda failed to disclose how the recent move by the MDC Alliance affects the constituents as he professed ignorance of the occurrence.

“I don’t understand that disengagement so I can’t comment”, the Speaker said.

However, a member of the Citizens Manifesto Vivid Gwede apportioned the blame of the legitimacy problem within the MDC to the courts but argued either way the electorate would be affected.

“The problem in the MDC comes from a delayed decision by the courts which could have made a decision in an urgent manner because there were foreseeable events like the 2018 harmonized elections and the MDC congress in 2019,” Gwede said.

“You can’t say in 2020 people must go back to 2014 structures ignoring that there was an national election that happened in which  loyalty of the members of the MDC  was shown by who they voted for in the election.”

Gwede added that whether the MP’s continued with their duties or not the electorate was disenfranchised either way.