Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo has dismissed as fable, claims by the private media that fresh polls loom as Zanu-PF seeks to recall 100 legislators from Parliament.
In a statement last night, Prof Moyo said no legislators would be recalled because the new Constitution of Zimbabwe did not have such a provision.
“In view of the fact that Parliament is a key institutional pillar of the State in our constitutional democracy, Government wishes to place on record that the frenzy media reports, which are falsely claiming that up to 100 Zanu-PF Members of Parliament face the ignominy of being recalled are notable only in so far as they reflect the wishful thinking of the authors of the reports.”
This pours cold water on MDC-T and its mouthpiece NewsDay which yesterday ran a story headlined “Fresh poll looms”.
The Daily News also claimed in its lead story yesterday that there would be up 100 by-elections soon.
Prof Moyo said statements by NewsDay quoting MDC-T spokesperson Mr Obert Gutu on his blog were mischievous and bent on causing alarm and despondency.
“The NewsDay story incredulously misleads its readers by claiming that a harmonised general election is imminent ostensibly because the governing Zanu-PF party is ‘contemplating recalling those (Members of Parliament) over allegations of plotting to topple President Robert Mugabe’”.
He said the Zanu-PF First Secretary and President, who is also the Head of State and Government, directed at Congress that, except for former spokesperson Rugare Gumbo and erstwhile war veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda who had already been expelled, no other members faced the chop.
“But the poverty and irrelevance of the reports are exposed by the fact that the Constitution of Zimbabwe does not have a provision for recalling Members of Parliament.
“Such a provision would by definition involve the electorate. The only relevant provision is Section 129 (k) of the Constitution which is an expulsion, and not a recall clause and which stipulates that ‘The seat of a Member of Parliament becomes vacant if the member has ceased to belong to the political party of which he or she was a member when elected to Parliament and the political party concerned, by written notice to the Speaker or the President of the Senate, as the case may be, has declared that the member has ceased to belong to it’.
“For this provision to take effect, a Member of Parliament should be expelled or resign from his or her political party, said Prof Moyo, adding there was nothing of the sort happening, or about to happen.
He said it was unfortunate that some “spent political forces” had now jumped onto the bandwagon of the false claims with a view to finding political relevance from these reports.
“It is therefore false and preposterous for anybody to now claim that up to 100 Zanu-PF Members of Parliament are facing expulsion from the party, which is the only circumstance under which their seats in Parliament would become vacant. Not only is the claim false and preposterous but also the alleged number of 100 is a thumb-suck figure conjured up with no basis on the ground by some very desperate political day-dreamers.”
Prof Moyo said the reason for fabricating the story was to create an impression that sacked VP Mujuru had about 100 legislators who backed her.
However, the fired VP even failed to secure a Central Committee seat at Congress as she was disowned by people in her former constituency Mt Darwin in Mashonaland Central.
“But that’s claptrap. Anyone who believes it would believe anything. No individual, let alone a former and helpless Vice President who is still trying to figure out what really happened well after the fact, owns any Zanu-PF Member of Parliament.”
Prof Moyo added that “Those among us who are taking one too many of their Christmas libations have no business using that as an excuse to disturb the peace by coming up with unfounded claims that have no basis in our Constitution or political practice.”
Cde Mujuru was fired from Government alongside other ministers and deputies for reneging on their Government mandate. They were said to have been expending their energy and time on graft and factional politics where they sought to topple President Mugabe through unconstitutional means.
Prof Moyo described as “understandable but misplaced” calls by some Zanu PF Provincial Coordinating Committes to expel some MPs alligned to Cde Mujuru which he said were nowhere near 100.
He said this sentiment had since been addressed by Zanu PF’s National Political Commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere.
“….It is common cause that no Zanu PF Member of Parliament faced expulsion from the party ahead of the 6th National People’s Congress on account of the so-called Mujuru issues that emerged prior to the congress earlier this month,” he said.