ZESN Calls For Constitutional Amendment To Scrap Recalls Clause

ZESN Calls For Constitutional Amendment To Scrap Recalls Clause
ZESN Calls For Constitutional Amendment To Scrap Recalls Clause

Africa-Press – Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network (ZESN) has called for the revision of a Constitutional clause that provides for the recall of elected representatives, saying the power to recall a legislator should reside with the people.

In a statement, ZESN said that by-elections are costly, and also the recall of elected public office holders results in voter apathy and is a potential subversion of democratic principles. It said:

Parliament should amend Section 129 (k) of the Constitution as recalls place a heavy burden on the fiscus, contribute to voter apathy and affect the essence of democracy.

The power to recall, if any, must reside in the people and not the political parties as is the trend in the majority of democracies.

There is a need to register and regulate political parties to address the issue of recalls as they bring into question the significance and relevance of elections.

Most of the recalls have been done by opposition leaders to settle political scores with internal rivals.

The late MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, his successor, albeit controversially, Nelson Chamisa, Thokozani Khupe and current party leader Douglas Mwonzora have invoked the clause to purge rivals.

However, Sengezo Tshabangu, who claims to be the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) interim secretary general, has taken the recalls to unprecedented levels.

Less than two months after the August 2023 general elections, Tshabangu recalled more than thirty MPs and Councillors, claiming they had ceased being members of CCC. He has since recalled dozens more CCC representatives.

Tshabangu has also barred those whom he recalled from contesting in by-elections and avoided fielding a candidate in Mabvuku-Tafara in the by-elections, where the ZANU PF candidate, Pedzai Sakupwanya won by default.

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