By-election weighing heavily on fiscus; election watchdog calls for clause amendment |

By Staff Reporter

Parliament is facing renewed pressure to amend the Constitution’s recall clause, with concerns mounting over its financial burden, impact on voter apathy, and potential subversion of democratic principles.

In a statement, the Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network (ZESN) called for immediate revision of Section 129(k) of the Constitution saying the power to recall a legislator should reside with the people.

“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,” read the statement.

“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,” said the watchdog.

Zimbabwe, which recently concluded a round of by-elections, is set to have polls on February 3, 2024 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 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 opposition 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 10 November.

ZESN called on ZEC to conduct massive voter education to avert the likely voter apathy in the coming by-elections.

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