CCC leader Chamisa forced to eat humble pie

CCC hypocrisy and double standards were on display in Harare yesterday as the party’s legislators attended a meeting of Parliament’s Committee on Standing Rules and Orders (SROC) barely a day after their leader, Mr Nelson Chamisa, indicated that they were disengaging from all Government and local authority programmes.

On Wednesday, Mr Chamisa said his party would disengage from Parliament activities in protest against the recall of 15 of his parliamentarians by a rival faction in CCC fronted by interim secretary general, Mr Sengezo Tshabangu.

Addressing journalists in Harare, Mr Chamisa said their disengagement meant that no business would be transacted until they get a remedy to the recall of their Members of Parliament from the Speaker of Parliament Advocate Jacob Mudenda.

But barely 24 hours after that announcement, CCC legislators led by their Chief Whip, Mr Amos Chibaya, turned up at Parliament building to attend the SROC meeting.

Apart from Mr Chibaya, other members who attended the SROC included Senators Jameson Timba, Sesel Zvidzai and Nonhlanhla Mlotshwa.

In fact, the Senators had to plead with officials of Parliament to be allowed to say the ruling by Speaker of the National Assembly, Adv Mudenda, on Tuesday suspending some rowdy CCC members did not affect them as they belonged to the Senate and not the National Assembly where chaos reigned supreme.

They were referring to chaotic scenes instigated by some CCC legislators who disrupted parliamentary business on Tuesday by protesting the ejection of their 15 colleagues after Mr Tshabangu wrote to Adv Mudenda that they had ceased to represent their party and should therefore, be recalled in terms of the Constitution.

After their pleas, they were eventually allowed in and duly attended the meeting.

In an interview soon after the three-hour meeting, Adv Mudenda said their meeting was meant to constitute National Assembly portfolio committees and Senate thematic committees.

It was also meant to set up regional and international committees such as members to represent the country in organisations such as the Pan African Parliament (PAP), SADC Parliamentary Forum, International Parliamentary Union, and the African, Caribbean, Pacific-European Union Joint Parliamentary Assembly among others.

Zanu PF Senator Cde Mike Bimha shares a lighter moment with CCC Senator Jameson Timba at Parliament yesterday.

“Our meeting went on well. It was meant to assign committee members to various portfolio and thematic committees in the Senate. We also did the allocation of members to regional and international organisations. We have completed that,” said Adv Mudenda.

He said in compliance with his ruling suspending CCC legislators for six sittings, they will continue attending committee meetings but will be precluded from attending sittings of Parliament.
We made a distinction between a sitting of Parliament, this was not a sitting of Parliament but a committee sitting. The penalty still stands so everyone attended and indeed all parties were represented,” said Adv Mudenda.

The SROC is Parliament’s supreme decision-making body that makes key decisions, supervises the administration of Parliament, and formulates Standing Orders among other functions.

Political analysts have described the CCC’s conduct as hypocritical and lacking consistency.

One analyst, Dr Hamadziripi Dube, said CCC MPs attended parliamentary business as they feared losing perks.

“I advise the leaders from this party to make decisions which hold water rather than just playing to the gallery. CCC MPs know very well that their absence in Parliament does not affect the running of the House. In broader terms that’s hypocrisy from CCC given that they threatened to disengage and overnight they woke up with a different decision as if it was business as usual,” he said.

Another analyst, Mr Goodwine Mureriwa, said CCC legislators were in an invidious position regarding decision making.

“CCC MPs are in a catch-22 situation. Indeed,they are caught between a rock and a hard place, between the rule of law and the dictatorial Chamisa. They are damned if they defy the legitimate Zanu PF Governance and damned if they defy the seemingly unstable Chamisa.

“The situation is further compounded by the basic instinct of personal survival. In my view, time heals. They will eventually see the light and realise that it is better to fulfil the mandate they got from the people than pursue misguided individual or organisational egos,” he said.

Another analyst said it was interesting to note that CCC legislators were attending committee sittings for self-serving purposes.

“The SROC could have proceeded even in their absence. But they feared that their slots could have been taken up by those present hence they attended. That is pure hypocrisy on their part,” he said.

The Tuesday violent incident is the second time that the CCC MPs have faced disciplinary measures from Parliament since the beginning of the 10th Parliament session after the August 23, 2023 elections.

They were directed to pay for their stay in hotels and had their fuel and sitting allowances withheld after they boycotted the official opening of the 10th Parliament and State of the Nation Address by President Mnangagwa last week.


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