In a startling turn of events, newly sworn-in Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) legislator Jasmine Toffa was swiftly recalled just five minutes after taking the oath of office as a Member of Parliament.
The incident has raised serious concerns over the constitutional implications and the functioning of democratic processes within Zimbabwe.
On Tuesday afternoon, amidst a backdrop of anticipation, Toffa officially assumed her position as a Member of Parliament.
However, within a mere five minutes of being sworn in and taking her seat, the Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda read her name amongst the list of those recalled through a fake letter written by one Sengezo Tshabangu.
The recall was purportedly executed by an individual holding the position of Secretary-General (SG), a role that the CCC asserts does not exist within their organizational structure.
This sudden recall and its speedy implementation have ignited a fiery debate, prompting questions about the legitimacy and legality of such abrupt actions within the democratic framework of Zimbabwe. Advocates for democracy and constitutional adherence are demanding a thorough examination of the events and a clarification on the legality of the recall process.
“I am a CCC MP sworn in on Tuesday afternoon less than 5 min later as I took my seat The Speaker read my name amongst the list of the recalled, by a bogus SG a position we do not have in the CCC. Who is fooling who? Mr Speaker Sir? Sec 68 constitution of Zim,” said Toffa.
The CCC has raised its voice, vehemently challenging the recall and emphasizing the importance of upholding democratic principles in the country.
Mental health cases soar among teenagers
Health experts have expressed concern over a significant increase in mental health breakdowns among adolescents and teenagers due to drug and substance abuse. This issue was raised as the country observed World Mental Health Day.
Itai Rusike, the executive director of the Community Working Group on Health, highlighted the current inadequacy of public health facilities in treating mental health conditions.
He noted that during the COVID-19 pandemic, many people experienced mental health challenges related to stress, sadness, anxiety, loneliness, and depression. Public health facilities currently have limited capacity to screen, diagnose, and treat mental health conditions, as they are overwhelmed by issues related to drug abuse and a shortage of healthcare workers.
Rusike further pointed out that young people are the most affected by mental health issues, with 40% of patients at Ingutsheni Psychiatric Hospital and other healthcare institutions being victims of drug abuse. He attributed this to the lack of economic opportunities for youth and their idle time, which often leads to experimentation with harmful habits.