Govt to regulate political parties


Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi has said the Government is considering regulating political parties to ensure that they are “organised”.

Speaking in a recent interview with State media, Ziyambi said it may become necessary to bar political parties without structures from contesting in national elections.

This comes after the “structureless” opposition CCC party led by Nelson Chamisa recently recalled 15 MPs, 9 senators and 17 councillors.

The recalls were initiated by CCC member Sengezo Tshabangu, the party’s self-declared interim secretary-general, even though the party does not have such a position as it doesn’t have structures.

Ziyambi said the “endless” recalls by the opposition are a drain on the fiscus as the Government is forced to divert funds towards financing by-elections. He said:

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I think going forward we need to have a discussion, and conversations to ensure that political parties are registered. They deposit their constitution and show that they are organised.

The situation that exists now is that we have had political parties that would just sprout towards elections.

You have a coalition of individuals with no structure that is recognised and soon after elections they start fighting.

You can’t tell who is who, and perhaps what needs to be discussed is that let us have proper political party registration so that all those parties without structures will not be able to contest.
ZANU PF rarely recalls its elected officials but the opposition has seemingly developed a culture of recalling members.

After the 2013 elections, MDC-T recalled 21 MPs including former Finance Minister Tendai Biti after a group of legislators had called for leadership renewal within the party.

In the post-2018 elections, the MDC-T recalled dozens of MPs and councillors following a leadership dispute.

Ziyambi argued that the Government is forced to divert resources whenever there are recalls and as a result, money that should have been used for developmental programmes is channeled towards elections. He said:

The Constitution and the Electoral Act state that when a vacancy occurs within 90 days we must go for an election.

And when we go for an election, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission must deploy people to do all the necessary preparations and this is an unnecessary expenditure that has to be borne by the taxpayers.

That money could have been used for development projects. We could put this money to good use such as improving the road to Victoria Falls and paying our contractor.

We now have to satisfy the constitutional requirements which require that we conduct by-elections within 90 days and mind you we are just coming from another election.
Meanwhile, Constitutional lawyer Lovemore Madhuku has called for the removal from the Constitution the clause that parties can recall members. Said Madhuku:

… the problem is not within opposition parties, but the Constitution and that clause should be removed.

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