Sengezo Tshabangu, representing Matabeleland North Province, has been appointed as the leader of the Opposition in Parliament.

National Assembly Speaker Advocate Jacob Mudenda announced this significant appointment during Thursday’s session.

The political landscape has been stirred by this development, coming shortly after Mudenda reversed the assignment of opposition members to various parliamentary committees following instructions from Jameson Timba.

Previously, Chipinge South MP Clifford Hlatwayo was named the CCC’s leader of the house, and Nomathemba Ndlovu, the proportional representation MP for Matabeleland South, was appointed as chief whip.

Tshabangu’s sudden rise has sparked controversy. Former Mount Pleasant MP Fadzayi Mahere, who resigned from parliament in protest against Tshabangu’s actions, sharply criticized the move.

In a fiery Facebook post, Mahere lamented what she perceives as a shift towards a one-party state.

“The reality is that he is a Zanu PF puppet and his formation is a Zanu PF construct, created to do its bidding. Zimbabwe has been reduced to an effective one-party state,” Mahere asserted.

“He was never the leader of CCC nor did he hold any office that would make him remotely capable of making decisions for members. No values. No honour. No mandate from the membership or the people.”

Mahere further expressed her discontent with the parliamentary dynamics under Tshabangu’s leadership: “Participating in this Zanu PF-engineered joke of a ‘Parliament’ could never be me. Zimbabwe runs a whipping system. How could I possibly agree to be whipped by someone who is whipped by Zanu PF? What about the people who elected me to stand for change and hold Zanu PF to account?”

As the new leader of the Opposition, Senator Tshabangu is set to play a pivotal role in Parliament. His responsibilities include serving as the primary spokesperson for the opposition in its interactions with the government and other stakeholders. He will also oversee the formation of parliamentary portfolio committees and the selection of opposition representatives for international organizations, such as the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), the SADC Parliamentary Forum, the International Parliamentary Union (IPU), and the African, Caribbean, and Pacific-European Union (ACP-EU).

Moreover, Tshabangu will be a member of the Parliament Standing Rules and Orders Committee, further solidifying his influence within the legislative framework.

This appointment underscores the volatile nature of Zimbabwean politics, where alignments and power dynamics can shift rapidly, often sparking intense debate and scrutiny from various quarters of the political spectrum.