Friday 11 August 2023


The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) opposition party has said once voted into office, it will introduce laws to empower voters to recall non-performing elected public officials.

While officiating at the launch of CCC’s manifesto in Bulawayo recently, party leader, Nelson Chamisa said the party would enact laws that allow people to recall poor performing officials.

“We are going to introduce the right of recall,” Chamisa said.

“If you are a MP or councillor and don’t perform, we will look at the number of people who voted for you. If two thirds write a petition either to the Speaker or to the relevant chamber to say our representative has gone AWOL or is a missing person, we will allow them to recall you and allow them to choose a new representative.”

Chamisa further said the CCC would also implement a new public barometer system to rate the performance of all public officers.

“If you are a minister or MP, there is going to be a public barometer to rate you. At the end of the year, you must be rated to see how you fared. You go to Parliament but don’t even cough or sneeze but still want to remain in Parliament. MPs must debate national issues.”

Currently the right of recall is limited to political parties, as stated in Section 129 (K) of Zimbabwe’s constitution.

Section 129 (K) reads: “If a 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.”

In 2020, the MDC-T, led by Douglas Mwonzora, recalled dozens of elected MPs and councillors, accusing them of supporting Chamisa, his political adversary.

This resulted in empty seats in various parliamentary and council seats around Zimbabwe, leaving the electorate disenfranchised and underrepresented.

By-elections had to be held on March 26, 2022, and later on in the year because citizens had no representatives in Parliament and council.

Chamisa added that Parliament must also reserve a seat for the leader of the official opposition party for oversight.

“The official opposition leader has to be invited officially to all the national functions not this business of reducing national functions to a party affair,” said the presidential challenger who said once in power CCC would separate the state from the political party.

“One of the things that we promise you as a new government is to separate the State from the party, what political scientists call ‘batocracy,’ which is the State and party conflation. The Government is the common denominator, and your political party is the enumerator, we are all one people.”

He also said a new government will make sure people do not abuse their political party card to access government services.

“You must access government services because you are a citizen and deserve the service either due to your age, disability or certain marginalisation that you have suffered in the past. We want to equalise this. This is our humble submission for a government we are proposing,” said the CCC leader.

The CCC leader also mentioned that one in government the party will update and modernise telecommunications systems. 

“We are going to revolutionarise Parliament immediately when we become a government.  Parliamentary debates will be shown on TV, and you will see what is debated in Parliament and see where laws are made,” Chamisa claimed.

“We will have a television channel set aside for parliamentary debates and televisions in communities for municipal debates in the chambers so that people are brought closer to lawmaking closer to decision making.”

Last year a Harare resident petitioned Parliament to allow members of the public to recall failing elected politicians rather than political parties.

Claud Kaharo of Budiriro said that for democracy to succeed, non-performers must be shown the door, while elected politicians must perform to the expectations of those who voted for them, failing which they must be recalled.

“As the voting public, we must have the right to vote for our representatives to council and parliament and also have the right to recall them if they are inept and not to wait for five years while they continue to do lots of damage,” Kaharo wrote in his petition. CITE


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