Chamisa says don’t be misled, my role is not about perks, position or entitlement


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For Chamisa to become a Member of Parliament, someone from his party will have to resign to create a vacancy or he could contest one of the two vacancies that currently exist in the House.

Chamisa cannot contest the vacancy in Matebeleland North created by the death of Thokozile Mathuthu because this is a proportional representation seat and has to be filled by a woman from the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.

He can contest the Mutoko North constituency seat vacated by Mabel Chinomona when she became President of the Senate. It has to be filled by a by-election but there is no guarantee he would win unless ZANU-PF decides not to contest.

Political analysts say it will be much easier for Chamisa to become a senator as a member of his party has only to step down and give room to him, but Parliament is generally regarded as the House of Assembly rather than the Senate.

The other alternative is to amend the Constitution and incorporate a role for the opposition leader.

Amending the constitution needs the full support of ZANU0-PF and a few members of the MDC because at the moment ZANU-PF does not command the two –thirds majority required.

It has 180 of the 270 House of Assembly seats, exactly a two thirds majority, so if one member fails to turn up, it cannot pass the amendment.

This also means this can only be done when the two vacancies have been filled.

But Chamisa’s greatest challenge is that his supporters do not want any compromise with Mnangagwa because they have bought into his argument that he won the elections.

Working with Mnangagwa is viewed as “selling out” and there is a common feeling that if he joins Mnangagwa that is the end of his political career.

A senior MDC official quoted by Newsday summed it all: “(Chamisa) cannot accept that offer. It’s a kiss of death for the opposition. Remember, we walked out of Parliament when Mnangagwa was presenting his State of the Nation Address because we don’t accept his victory, so taking a salary and that recognition from Mnangagwa would be endorsing his presidency through a bribe. That should not happen.”

 

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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