Constitutional lawyer and academic, Professor Lovemore Madhuku, has raised concerns over a provision in the Constitution that grants political parties the authority to recall their members.
In his view, this provision is fundamentally flawed and should be removed to uphold the principles of democratic representation.
Madhuku argued that the clause allowing political parties to recall their members poses a threat to the democratic process.
He emphasized that Members of Parliament (MPs) are initially elected by the people through a democratic voting process, only to be subsequently recalled by their respective parties.
This contradiction, he asserts, undermines the essence of democratic representation and the will of the electorate.
“The clause that parties can recall members must be removed from the Constitution. MPs are elected by the people and then recalled by the parties. So the problem is not within opposition parties, but the Constitution and that clause should be removed,” said Madhuku.
Madhuku’s stance is rooted in a desire to enhance the democratic framework of the country, ensuring that elected officials remain accountable to their constituents throughout their term. He believes that the current provision, enabling parties to recall their members at will, disrupts the balance of power and compromises the fundamental principles of democracy.
The issue of party recalls has sparked debates within Zimbabwe’s political landscape, with concerns raised about potential abuses and misuse of this power by political parties.
Critics argue that the provision allows parties to stifle dissent and enforce party discipline, often at the expense of the constituents’ choices.
Advocates for the removal of the recall provision contend that MPs should be accountable primarily to the voters who elected them, rather than being subjected to the whims of their party leadership.
They emphasize the importance of nurturing a system where elected representatives act in the best interests of their constituents, guided by their mandate and not partisan directives.