INFORMATION minister Jonathan Moyo has dismissed as “false and preposterous”, media reports claiming fresh polls were imminent as Zanu PF was thought to be preparing to recall up to 100 of its MPs, a development that would force the dissolution of Parliament.
Said the government spokesman in a statement Tuesday evening: “Those among us who are taking one too many of their Christmas libations have no business using that as an excuse to disturb the peace by coming up with unfounded claims that have no basis in our Constitution or political practice.”
He added: “In view of the fact that Parliament is a key institutional pillar of the State in our constitutional democracy, Government wishes to place on record that the frenzied media reports, which are falsely claiming that up to 100 Zanu PF Members of Parliament face the ignominy of being recalled are notable only in so far as they reflect the wishful thinking of the authors of the reports.”
The ruling party’s Mashonaland West province recently indicated it would seek the recall of some 9 local MPs said to be linked with former vice president Joice Mujuru who was fired by President Robert Mugabe for allegedly plotting a coup.
Other Zanu PF provincial structures were also quoted by the state media indicating they would implement similar action in the envisaged clean-up of remaining Mujuru loyalists after some 16 ministers were dismissed over the alleged rebellion.
Harare academic and political analyst Ibbo Mandaza recently claimed that Mugabe’s purge of Mujuru’s group had side-lined up to 100 MPs, adding the veteran leader now headed a minority faction in the ruling party.
But in his statement, Moyo said Mujuru did not control any MPs.
“That’s claptrap; anyone who believes it would believe anything,” he said.
“No individual, let alone a former and helpless Vice President who is still trying to figure out what really happened well after the fact, owns any Zanu PF Member of Parliament.”
Regarding the recall push from Mashonaland Central, Moyo said such calls were “understandable but misplaced”.
“….It is common cause that no Zanu PF Member of Parliament faced expulsion from the party ahead of the 6th National People’s Congress on account of the so-called Mujuru issues that emerged prior to the congress earlier this month,” he added.
Mugabe had also made clear that apart from Rugare Gumbo and Jabulani Sibanda who were fired from the party over the Mujuru saga, no other members would be sanctioned, the minister added.
“But the poverty and irrelevance of the reports are exposed by the fact that the Constitution of Zimbabwe does not have a provision for recalling Members of Parliament. Such a provision would by definition involve the electorate,” he said.
“The only relevant provision is Section 129 (k) of the Constitution which is an expulsion, and not a recall clause and which stipulates that ‘The seat of a Member of Parliament becomes vacant if the member has ceased to belong to the political party of which he or she was a member when elected to Parliament and the political party concerned, by written notice to the Speaker or the President of the Senate, as the case may be, has declared that the member has ceased to belong to it’.
“It is therefore false and preposterous for anybody to now claim that up to 100 Zanu PF Members of Parliament are facing expulsion from the party, which is the only circumstance under which their seats in Parliament would become vacant.
“Not only is the claim false and preposterous but also the alleged number of 100 is a thumb-suck figure conjured up with no basis on the ground by some very desperate political day-dreamers.”