Editorial Comment: Stop playing house with national business

The Herald

MDC-Alliance cannot have its cake and eat it at the same time. To this end, we endorse the statement by Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi that Government ministers will not respond to questions from the MDCA MPs if they continue their charade of claiming that they do not recognise President Mnangagwa simply to assuage the ego of their excitable party frontman, Nelson Chamisa, who lost the presidential election in the full glare of the world.

Said Minister Ziyambi: “Ministers, according to the Constitution, are appointed by the President and serve at the pleasure of the President. The Honourable Members do not recognise the President. We cannot continue in this House with hypocrites. You cannot on one hand refuse to recognise the President, but on the other want to ask questions to the same ministers appointed by the President,” said Minister Ziyambi.

We couldn’t have put it any better.

We recently saw MDCA MPs refuse to stand up when President Mnangagwa walked into Parliament for the 2019 National Budget presentation.

MDCA legislators also did not accompany Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda and Senate president Cde Mabel Chinomona to State House where the presiding officers were officially introducing themselves to President Mnangagwa following their election.

Only leader of the opposition i Senate Elias Mudzuri accompanied the presiding officers, but was publicly lynched by his party colleagues for his troubles

What MDCA MPs need to realise is that while they are the official opposition, they are a minority party in Parliament where Zanu-PF commands over two thirds majority and hence can conduct the business of the house with or without the MDCA. In fact those who watched the Budget presentation realised how insignificant the MDCA is in the scheme of things as the party’s absence in the wake of their walkout was not noticeable.

It is ironic to hear MDCA honcho, Job Sikhala, claim that there is a de jure and de facto president in our law.

While our Constitution does not have this dichotomy, it may be necessary to take Sikhala back to law school.

De facto is Latin for “of fact,” meaning “in reality,” and is usually contrasted with “de jure,” which means “of law,” or “officially”.

By claiming that Chamisa is the de facto president, Sikhala was in fact confirming that his boss was not legally elected which is what ZEC’s tally showed and was also the finding of the Constitutional Court! Be that as it may, ED Mnangagwa is President by fact and by law, and the sooner the MDCA MPs publicly acknowledge this the better for them.

The First Session of the Ninth Parliament is well underway. Zanu-PF will continue pushing its agenda as MDCA MPs grandstand. Soon it will be election time and the voters will once again stand in brutal judgment. It is high time the MDCA, in its entirety, stopped playing house with national business!