AMH is an independent media house free from political ties or outside influence. We have four newspapers: The Zimbabwe Independent, a business weekly published every Friday, The Standard, a weekly published every Sunday, and Southern and NewsDay, our daily newspapers. Each has an online edition.

  • Marketing
  • Digital Marketing Manager: tmutambara@alphamedia.co.zw
  • Tel: (04) 771722/3
  • Online Advertising
  • Digital@alphamedia.co.zw
  • Web Development
  • jmanyenyere@alphamedia.co.zw

The power of recalls must reside in the people

Zimbabwe held elections in August 2023

On December 18 nomination courts in Marondera, Chinhoyi, Gweru and Bulawayo convened to fulfil Zimbabwe’s legal procedure in officially verifying and accepting aspiring candidates’ nomination papers ahead of the coming National Assembly by-elections scheduled for  February 3, 2024.

By-elections will be conducted in accordance with Statutory Instrument 235 of 2023, Proclamation 10 of 2023 to fill the parliamentary seats left vacant by the recalls of six (6) incumbent legislators.

Vacancies occurred following the recalls of Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) candidates on November 10, 2023 by the party’s ‘interim secretary general’ who declared they had ceased to be members of the party.

The recalls triggered the need for by-elections to choose new representatives in Mkoba North, Goromonzi South, Seke, Pelandaba-Tshabalala, Zvimba East and Chegutu West constituencies.

Among the recalled Members of Parliament is the CCC organising secretary, Amos Chibaya, who is also Chief Whip of the party, and the party’s deputy spokesperson Gift Ostallos Siziba, representing Mkoba North and Pelandaba-Tshabalala respectively.

Admore Chivero (Chegutu West), Tapfumaneyi Willard Madzimbamuto (Seke), Oliver Mutasa (Zvimba East) and Stephen Chatiza (Goromonzi South) also ceased to be members of Parliament for their respective constituencies on  November 10.

In line with its objectives, the Zimbabwe Election Supervisory Network (Zesn) members observed the nomination processes at designated magistrates courts.

Due to resource constraints, Zesn members observed the nomination process for parliamentary contenders only and excluded nomination sittings for the 12 local authority councillors.

 To promote consistency across its observation, Zesn agreed on a common framework and approach through which members were guided in terms of gathering information on the process and outcome of the nomination.

Overall, the  December 18, nomination saw a reduction in competition for constituency seats by candidates who lodged their nomination papers.

This is in comparison to the June 21, 2023 nomination process, in preparation for the 23 August 2023 Harmonised Elections for the same constituencies.

Candidate fatigue emanating from a series of recalls that has kept Zimbabwe in an electioneering mode, subsequent by-elections in a noticeably short space of time coupled with high nomination fees deter candidates from participating in elections.

The nomination result shows that CCC filed double candidates in some constituencies, two candidates were nominated under the party in Goromonzi South and Pelandaba-Tshabalala.

Three  CCC aspiring candidates (Pelandaba-Tshabalala, Mkoba North and Goromonzi South) filed nomination papers under the CCC party, notwithstandingthe December 7 High Court ruling that barred recalled candidates from contesting under the party.

Three recalled CCC legislators decided to run as independents in Zvimba East, Seke and Chegutu West.

The nomination court proceedings were peaceful, calm and successfully gave the candidates equal opportunity to file their papers.

Zesn noted that nomination courts sitting at various magistrates courts demonstrated key aspects of inclusion as women played a pivotal role under the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).

Zesn also applauds citizens for their political maturity and peace, for respecting each other and refraining from delegitimising the nomination process or each other.

However, from the same observations, Zesn wishes to recommend that:

  • Political parties must improve on intra-party democracy, whose absence sometimes manifests in the fielding of double candidates.
  • Zec should conduct massive voter education to avert the likely voter apathy in the coming by-elections.
  • Parliament should amend Section 129 (k) of the constitution as recalls place a heavy burden on the fiscus, contribute to voter apathy and affect the essence of democracy.

The power to recall, if any, must reside in the people and not the political parties as is the trend in the majority of democracies.

  •   There is need to register and regulate political parties to address the issue of recalls as they bring into question the significance and relevance of elections. — Zesn

Democratic space in Zim continues to shrink  

The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition successfully held its 15th annual general meeting (AGM) on December 15, 2023.

The AGM noted that the democratic space in Zimbabwe continues to shrink and that there is an urgent need to mobilise grassroots communities while strengthening regional solidarity in the fight against authoritarianism and a one party state.

 The AGM noted the ongoing persecution of dissenting voices and opposition activists, particularly following the largely discredited 2023 elections and the by-elections following the controversial recalls of opposition MPs and councillors from parliament and local councils respectively.

 The AGM noted that the legitimacy crisis in Zimbabwe following the chaotic 2023 elections perpetuates the political and socio-economic crisis in Zimbabwe.

The AGM noted the ruling party Zanu PF' s determination to establish a one-party state and the continued persecution of civil society organizations through the introduction of draconian laws.

Way forward

Given Zimbabwe's multi-faceted crisis, the meeting resolved that civil society organizations must act and mobilise grassroots communities to defend the democratic space.

 Below are the resolutions of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition 2023 annual general meeting;

The Coalition will intensify its efforts to mobilise grassroots communities to defend democratic space in the face of the state's determination to entrench authoritarianism.

  1. The Coalition will continue to leverage its position as a leading coalition of civil society organisations at the local and regional level and work closely with local and regional solidarity partners to provide thought leadership and strategic direction to the sector.
  2. The Coalition is to convene a national people’s congress that will set the tone for grassroots community engagement and mobilisation and the demand for fundamental reforms in Zimbabwe
  3. The AGM reaffirmed the need for Zimbabwe to return to full adherence to the norms of modern statecraft through the full implementation of the Zimbabwean constitution. This includes comprehensive electoral, economic, social and political reforms.

These reforms must be underpinned by a firm commitment to a return to political legitimacy and the restoration of the dreams of April 18,1980.

Being an elective AGM, the individuals and organizations below were also elected to lead the Coalition for the next two years;

Chairperson- Peter Gift Mutasa

Vice chairperson - Busi Dube

Treasurer - Gamuchirai Mukura

Spokesperson- Marvelous Khumalo Zimbabwe

National Students Union - Chair of the CIZC youth vommittee

Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers Alliance- Chair of the CIZC Advocacy Committee

Padare- Chair of the CIZC gender committee

Election Resource Centre (ERC)- Chair of the CIZC information committee

 Heal Zimbabwe Trust (HZT)- Chair of the CIZC peace building committee

Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR)- Chair of the CIZC human rights committee

 Chair of the CIZC arts committee to be announced  — Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition

Related Topics