Recalled CCC MPs say recalls undermine representation, drain resources, and delay progress

The recalled Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) legislators have indicated that their recalls have the greatest impact on their constituents who have been robbed of representation while the voters are used as ‘pawns in a political game designed by selfish individuals.’

Apart from upsetting politicians, the expelled MPs noted that one of the unsettling aspects of their recall was how the representation of people in the constituencies was taken lightly rendering Parliament ineffective.

Sengezo Tshabangu, who claimed to be the CCC Interim Secretary General, initiated the recalls after writing to Parliament on October 3, 2023, claiming several members had ceased to belong to the opposition party.

Tshabangu has so far recalled 15 MPs, nine senators, and 17 councillors.

Obert Manduna, who was recalled from Nketa, told CITE that when he was elected MP, he knew his role was to represent people and attend to his constituency’s needs in Parliament.

“However, this has been limited by the recalls that did not take into account the electorate who voted,” he said, adding the recalls revealed how representation was misunderstood.

“Issues raised around our recall were that some of us were not local representatives while others were imposed, but now people in the constituency where we recalled from, have no representation.”

Instead of focusing on problems facing the city, Manduna said people’s time and energy were drained by discussing recalls.

“I had compiled issues to be tabled to the Parliament from citizens as their representative but now our recall will affect some of the programmes that I had initiated in Nketa,” he said.

“I was working on the capacitation of community gardens, I intended to do installation of street lighting in the whole constituency and had already engaged the council and suppliers. I had also identified land for construction of high-rising flats in Nketa/Emganwini and identified  busy roads for humps erection, where I had engaged the council for both projects.”

Manduna claimed he had already embarked on a needs assessment programme in the constituency for the vulnerable and people with disabilities in Nketa, adding he had “started meetings with school heads to assist pupils facing fees challenges and donating school materials.

Manduna, however, claimed, that since he had started modalities to have these projects operational, he would continue despite his recall.

Pashor Raphael Sibanda recalled from Cowdray Park concurred that recalls drained the fiscus, as resources would now be channelled to by-elections yet national elections had been recently held.

“These recalls are done at the expense of the taxpayers’ money. I was voted for by the people of Cowdray Park. I was never voted by a letter from an imposter. I was not imposed, not appointed but anointed,” he said.

“People are slowly losing trust and confidence in electoral princesses of Zimbabwe because those recalls have since collapsed Parliament.”

Sibanda said the Tshabangu-initiated recalls did not respect the will of the people who were now left “disgruntled and unhappy.”

“People were clear by demanding me as their rightful leader. The recall is not only affecting Cowdray Park but everyone because as an MP, I am a national leader. I don’t make laws for Cowdray Park only. I do oversight and hold the Executive to account,” he said.

“As we are talking right now, only Zanu PF is in Parliament because when we were recalled the remaining MPs from CCC were banned for six sittings.”

Sibanda also bemoaned how Parliament’s role has been undermined with the absence of the opposition.

“The recalls have undermined the rule of law. Things are not looking good but we hope we will be reinstated and due processes will be done,” Sibanda said.

Recalled from Lobengula-Magwegwe, Eric Gono added that the recalls undermined his four-year campaign.

“We did not just wake up as candidates and MPs and Councillors. I had a four-year project to give the young people of Lobengula-Magwegwe hope. We recruited thousands of them to register to vote and we sold them a transformative agenda, which they strongly believed and voted for.  I’m very disappointed by this delay in fulfilling the promises we made to people,” he said.

“We had a good start setting up platforms of engagement with the community and setting up a five-year agenda and this uncertainty is not good for our developmental agenda.”

Gono echoed Manduna’s sentiments that the constituencies they were recalled from, left their constituents behind in development.

“I want to remind those who are behind the recalls that whilst we are in this predicament, other constituencies and regions are busy with their progress agenda and there won’t be any compensation to Lobengu-Magwegwe. In the end, it’s ordinary citizens who suffer,” he said.

Meanwhile, the recalled MPs are unsure whether they will run in the by-elections scheduled for December 9, 2023.

“We are yet to be guided by the party leadership. Such a decision hasn’t been made on whether we are contesting the by-election or not, or if we are taking a certain political route,” Sibanda said.

“I’m sure the media will be notified of the CCC position at an appropriate time. The position of the party is we don’t recognise these recalls. They are illegal, initiated by an imposter.”        

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