The Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) has condemned the recalling of 15 CCC MPs from parliament, describing the move as a clear disrespect of the electorate.
The council expressed concern over the insensitive decision with a huge potential to distabilise the country’s fragile political landscape.
“The recalls of the CCC Parliamentarians’ places a wedge between political actors and their supporters, hence further perpetuating the deep polarization and divisions that has characterized our nation before and after the August 2023 elections,” the ZCC said in its statement. “The country is still recovering from the disputed 2023 elections processes, outcomes and results. The recalls will relapse the country into partisan discourse instead of healing and uniting the nation towards a common vision.”
The ZCC also expressed concern that the recalls could be interpreted as a deliberate move to silence and dismantle opposition alternative voices, leading the country towards a one-party state, which would be a violation of the 2013 Constitution (Section 3(2)(a) and Section 67 (4)).
“These recalls strongly send signals that political actors are power-focused and do not consider the will of Zimbabweans who vote, thus undermining the significance of elections as a process that portrays the will of the people,” the ZCC added.
The ZCC further warned that the recalling of MPs creates a vacuum in the lower house which ultimately affects legislative quality and capacity.
This could weaken the quality of laws passed during this period, particularly as critical bills are set to be reviewed following President E.D Mnangagwa’s State of the Nation Address.
The church body also raised concerns about the fiscal strain elections place on limited resources that could be directed towards developmental programs.
The possibility of holding by-elections against a backdrop of constrained fiscal resources raises questions about the capacity of ZEC to conduct such elections in a credible, free, and fair manner.
“The Church has noted the alleged manner to which the Speaker of Parliament has handled the recall process, that is, the recognition of a letter from the interim CCC spokesperson yet disregarding the communique from CCC President. This allegation taints and validates the long-standing assertion of unfair practices in our strategic state institutions,” said ZCC.
The ZCC concluded its statement by reiterating its prophetic call for dialogue towards disentangling Zimbabwe from election mode and finding a path to a collectively defined future; building unity, shared national values and vision; inclusive and shared economic prosperity; healing, justice and peace; and entrenchment of constitutional democracy