Allan “Rusty” Markham, the Member of Parliament for Harare East, has announced his resignation from both the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party and the parliament of Zimbabwe.
In a letter to his constituents, Markham cited the shutdown of the democratic space in the country and the infiltration of the CCC party by the ruling regime as the main reasons for his decision.
He said he no longer felt he could represent the CCC, which he claimed had been hijacked by a self-appointed and unknown Interim Secretary General, who had the support of the Judiciary and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
He also expressed his frustration with the lack of oversight and stakeholder engagement in parliament, which he described as a “tick the box” institution.
“Recent events within the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party have pushed me to make the firm decision that I no longer represent the CCC in any form whatsoever. I believe that the party has been infiltrated to an extent that it does not represent what I stand for,” he said.
“The choreographed support by the Judiciary and the Zimbanwe Electoral commission to the self appointed and unknown Interim Secretary General is a testament to how desperate the regime wants to shut down the democratic space. I therefore reiterate that I cannot be and will not be associating with anything to do with the CCC from here on .
“Further to the above, the democratic space in parliament has been shut down completely. Parliament has been rendered into a “tick the box” institution and has no oversight at all over the Executive (Ministries). stakeholders engagement on the budget was also a rubber stamp exercise.”
He also declared his solidarity with Nelson Chamisa, the former leader of the CCC, who resigned recently.
Markham was elected as the MP for Harare East in the August 2023 elections, under the CCC banner.
His resignation is likely to trigger a by-election in Harare East, which is considered a stronghold of the opposition.