The opposition Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) has recently been embroiled in internal disputes, resulting in the recall of several members from their parliamentary and council positions. The recalls were initiated by Mr. Sengezo Tshabangu, who claimed to be the CCC’s interim secretary-general and wrote to the Speaker of the National Assembly. However, the CCC later announced its temporary disengagement from parliamentary and council activities.
In response to these developments, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Professor Amon Murwira, issued a statement emphasizing the need for the CCC’s internal power struggles to be distinguished from national matters. He clarified that political parties are not legally obliged to participate in national processes and that the responsibility for recalling Members of Parliament lies with the political party to which the affected member belongs, as outlined in Section 129(1)(k) of the Zimbabwe Constitution. These recalls are not initiated by the government or the ruling ZANU PF party.
Professor Murwira further explained that the Speaker of the National Assembly and the President of the Senate are legally obligated to act promptly on communications received from political parties regarding recalls. They have no discretion in such matters and must follow the law. They cannot alter or block these communications; only the authors of the communication can revoke it.
While there is no legal requirement for political parties to have formal constitutions and structures, Professor Murwira stressed their importance in preventing confusion. He stated that if an opposition party chooses to temporarily or permanently disengage from legislative processes, it does not create a constitutional crisis. Parties and individuals have the right to participate or abstain from national processes, as there is no law in Zimbabwe that compels participation.
Political analysts have suggested that the recalls of CCC MPs are likely a result of the party’s controversial candidate-selection process before the elections, which left some senior members dissatisfied. Prominent figures affected by the process include former party vice president Mr. Tendai Biti, and former legislators Mr. Kucaca Phulu, Mr. Anele Ndebele, and Mr. Sengezo Tshabangu himself.
In light of these developments, Bulawayo-based political analyst Mr. Methuseli Moyo commented on the situation, stating that a party without clear structures, a constitution, and founding principles cannot maintain stability. He attributed the internal conflicts to the CCC’s opaque, controversial, and unfair candidate-selection process and held Mr. Chamisa, the party leader, responsible for the issues. Mr. Moyo suggested that Mr. Chamisa should engage with Mr. Tshabangu to find common ground, emphasizing that disengaging from Parliament would not resolve the issues.