Zanu PF, CCC headed for bruising fight

2023 Elections Politics

ZANU PF and the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) could be heading for a bruising fight after the ruling party threatened to punish opposition legislators for boycotting the opening session of the 10th Parliament presided over by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

 

Mnangagwa presided over the official opening of the First Session of the 10th Parliament and delivered the State of the Nation of Address (Sona) to Zanu PF legislators after opposition MPs boycotted the event saying they did not recognise his victory in the August 23 and 24 elections.

Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, who is leader of government business in Parliament, said they would sanction the CCC legislators.

“The Speaker has already ruled that those who checked into hotels, but did not attend, the moneys will be deducted,”

Ziyambi told NewsDay in an interview.

 

“There will be transport reimbursement for all those who travelled, but did not attend. As for us, we are considering whether we should continue disbursing monies to parties under the Political Parties (Finance) Act for people who decide to stay at home when it’s something they are given by virtue of them being a party in Parliament.”

 

The Act provides for State funding of political parties.

 

Under the Act, any political party that secures at least 5% of the total votes cast is entitled to funding from Treasury.

CCC Chief Whip Amos Chibaya said they did not recognise Mnangagwa as legitimate.

 

“Our position is very clear that the election was rigged and we are calling for a fresh election,”

Chibaya said.

“What happened in Mt Hampden at the Parliament building today (yesterday) was more of a Zanu PF rally. It’s a nullity.”

 

He, however, said they will attend upcoming parliamentary events.

 

“As for the next parliamentary sittings, remember there are three arms of the State, which is the Judiciary, the Executive and Parliament. Parliament is autonomous and Mnangagwa belongs to the Executive, so nothing will stop us from attending the parliamentary proceedings. On debating Mnangagwa’s speech, we will cross the bridge when we come to it.”

 

Analysts yesterday said the boycott by CCC legislators had little impact to force an election re-run.

 

Political scientist Eldred Masunungure, said the boycott was also contradictory.

 

“However, there are some contradictions, where they are in Parliament, but they are boycotting Mnangagwa’s address because of their claims that his victory is fraudulent,”

Masunungure said.

 

“But it is the same process that saw them in Parliament. But in this case the protest is meaningful to the CCC and their supporters and not really impactful on the future of the country.”

 

Zimbabwe Democracy Institute director Pedzisai Ruhanya said the CCC needed a clear action plan to end the legitimacy dispute.

 

“They cannot boycott the address then go on to debate the speech in Parliament. The Parliament agenda is driven from the President’s Sona,”

Ruhanya said.

 

“In the Sona the President lays out the government policy which will be debated in Parliament. The boycott is correct from a political point of view but what is important is what the party intends to do to bring to finality the electoral dispute.”

 

Another political analyst, Rashweat Mukundu said the political crisis is going to persist.

 

“The boycott does not carry much weight in terms of a strategic direction but is an expression of political frustration over the conduct of the election by the CCC. The boycott will deepen the political crisis in the country.”

 

Political commentator, Kudakwashe Munemo, said the boycott was inevitable, but confusing to the electorate.

 

“It reflects the negative effect of constantly having contested election results and lack of clarity on the CCC legislators whose action to boycott the process leaves the electorate confused on whether they are in or out of parliamentary business representing their interests.”

In his outline of the new legislative agenda, Mnangagwa said obsolete laws must be repelled. He announced a busy legislative agenda where new Bills are expected to be crafted during the session.

 

“New Bills which will constitute the business of the First Session include the Persons with Disabilities Bill and the Administration of Estates Amendment Bill,”

he said.

 

“The Legal Practitioners (Amendment) Bill, 2023 seeks to streamline the registration process for foreign legal practitioners. Also on the agenda will be the Inheritance and Succession Laws (General Amendment) Bill, 2023, which aligns inheritance and succession laws to the Constitution and international best practice.”

Mnangagwa also said government was committed to providing modern and affordable human settlements for all Zimbabweans.

 

“In this regard, the Zimbabwe Construction Contractors Council Bill seeks to establish an authority that will bring sanity in the built environment. Parliament is expected to consider the alignment of the Housing Standards Control Act and the Housing and Buildings Act,”

he said.

 

Expressing grave concern over rampant drug abuse among the youths, he said:

“Measures to tame the scourge by strengthening relevant institutions for effective coordination and programming of activities will be instituted.”