Zimbabwe’s new Members of Parliament, who were sworn in today after the recent elections, have been challenged by an award-winning journalist to push for institutional, political and economic reforms and to expose the massive corruption that plagues the country.
Hopewell Chin’ono, a former television producer for UK’s ITV News and The New York Times foreign correspondent, posted a series of tweets on his account, calling on the opposition CCC party to ensure the presence of a formidable committees team in parliament that will hold the government to account for its actions.
“The Zimbabwean crisis has been anchored on the lack of institutional, political and economic Reforms. Reforms can only realistically happen in parliament away from the political posturing and grandstanding noise,” he wrote.
He said that the CCC, which has 103 MPs, should deploy the strongest teams in parliamentary committees to resist any attempts by the ruling ZANUPF party to ride roughshod on the constitution and to advocate for electoral reforms and laws that prioritize the welfare of the poor people.
“Zimbabweans are poor, but their country is wealthy in resources. ZANUPF fights for power not for the sake of it, but to facilitate State corruption! These CCC committee teams should fight against the regime’s corrupt actions, and more importantly advocate for Electoral Reforms and laws that prioritize the welfare of the poor people that sent them to parliament,” he said.
Chin’ono also criticized some opposition MPs who never spoke a word in the last parliament, saying that they betrayed the citizens considering the level of suffering and corruption in the society.
“The last term was characterised by people outside parliament being more effective in exposing corruption and lack of public service delivery. This must change if the opposition is to be taken seriously by Zimbabweans,” he said.
Chin’ono is a vocal critic of Zimbabwe’s electoral system, which he says is rigged in favor of ZANUPF. He has also exposed several cases of corruption involving senior government officials and businessmen.
He recently blamed CCC leader Nelson Chamisa for losing the presidential election to Emmerson Mnangagwa, saying that he failed to mobilize his supporters and to challenge the results in court.
Chamisa has rejected Mnangagwa’s victory, claiming that he was robbed of his mandate by fraud and intimidation. He has vowed to continue his fight for democracy and justice through peaceful means.