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Zanu PF eyes two-thirds majority as 15 CCC seats declared vacant

The ruling party Zanu PF is eyeing a two-thirds majority in Parliament after 15 opposition MPs from the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) were recalled by a factional leader. The recalls, which were confirmed by the Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda, affect MPs from Matabeleland provinces who won their seats in the 2022 general elections.

The MPs and 17 councillors from Bulawayo Metropolitan, Matabeleland North and South provinces were recalled by one Sengezo Tshabangu, who claims to be the party’s interim secretary-general. Tshabangu said the legislators had stopped being members of the CCC.

The Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda confirmed the recalls in letters dated October 4 and 6, 2023.

MPs who were recalled are Nicola Jane Watson (Bulawayo South), Prince Dubeko Sibanda (Binga North), Febion Munyaradzi Kufahakutizwi (Mabvuku-Tafara), Bright Moyo Vanya (Lupane East), Desmond Makaza (Mpopoma-Mzilikazi), Obert Manduna (Nketa) and Morgan Ncube (Beitbridge West).

The list also includes Pashor Raphael Sibanda (Cowdray Park), Evidence Zana (youth representation), Janeth Dube (proportional representation), Sitabile Mlilo (proportional representation), Nomathemba Sibanda (proportional representation), Jasmine Toffa (proportional representation) and Velisiwe Nkomo (proportional representation

The CCC spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi condemned the recalls as illegal.

“They are unlawful and show Zanu PF’s determination to undermine and subvert the will of the people of Zimbabwe. They are raising the stakes and we will not allow them to take this route again. The stakes are already high, they are raising them to another level,” Mkwananzi said.

He also accused Tshabangu of being a Zanu PF agent who was working to destroy the opposition party.

“Tshabangu is not a member of the CCC, he is a Zanu PF operative who is being used to destabilize our party. He has no authority or mandate to recall anyone. He is a fraudster and a traitor,” Mkwananzi added.

He said the CCC would challenge the recalls in court and mobilize its supporters to defend their democratic rights.

What are the implications for Zimbabwe’s politics?

The recalls will trigger by-elections, which analysts say Zanu PF is eager to win at any cost to secure a two-thirds majority in Parliament so that it can change laws at will.

Zanu PF failed to secure a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly after winning 136 of the 209 contested seats with the CCC winning 73 seats.

Analysts said the recalls were part of Zanu PF’s strategy to weaken and divide the opposition ahead of the 2025 elections.

The recalls of CCC MPs have sparked a political crisis in Zimbabwe, as Zanu PF seeks to consolidate its power. The CCC has condemned the recalls as illegal and vowed to resist them.

Zanu PF eyes two-thirds majority as 15 CCC seats declared vacant