Constitutional law expert and political analyst, Alex Magaisa has given his perspective on the decision by Thokozani Khupe to recall just four MDC Alliance MPs from Parliament.
The four MPs are Chalton Hwende, Lilian Timveos, Thabitha Khumalo and Prosper Mutseyami.
Writing in his latest Big Saturday Read titled “BSR: Concerning the recall of MDC Alliance MPs”, Magaisa suggested three reasons why Khupe and her Secretary General Douglas Mwonzora expelled the four. He said:
First, these four MPs have been chosen because they are the leaders of the MDC-Alliance in Parliament. Khumalo, who is the MDC Alliance Chairperson is the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly while Timveos is the leader of the opposition in the Senate. Mutseyami is the MDC Alliance Chief Whip while Charlton Hwende is the Secretary-General of the party.
The idea appears to be to attack the head of the MDC Alliance. Mwonzora and Hwende have had a long-standing battle which culminated in the battle for the Secretary-Generalship at the MDC Alliance Congress in 2019 in which Hwende prevailed. This part of the recall seems like a continuation of a personal war marked by a streak of vindictiveness.
The second part of the strategy is to divide and rule. Mwonzora’s notice could have applied to all MPs they claim to be their party’s members in Parliament.
They have chosen a small group in the hope of isolating them from the larger group. This, they hope, serves as a notice to the remainder of MPs whose position is now precarious.
The newfound power of recall now hangs like the sword of Damocles above the heads of the remaining MPs.
The hope is that the other MPs will be cowed into submission and follow the demands of the group that wants to reconstitute the MDC-T following the Supreme Court judgment.
The recall is a strategy to coerce MDC Alliance MPs into supporting the group that was dubiously awarded a judgment by the Supreme Court.
They know that an MP’s seat represents an important part of an MP’s personal political economy. It brings prestige, power and material benefits to the individual MP.
This situation, therefore, represents a stern moral test for each MDC Alliance MP. They must make a choice between safeguarding their personal political economy, which would be selfish or acting for the greater good of the party under which they were elected, the MDC Alliance, which would be selfless.
To go with the view that they are MDC-T members would be to forsake the MDC Alliance, the party under which they campaigned and were elected into Parliament. It would also be politically duplicitous; fraud on the people who voted them as MDC Alliance representatives.
The third, which is also a strategy of divide and rule relates to the MDC Alliance as a whole. If Khupe, Mwonzora and Komichi can successfully isolate so-called MDC-T MPs, from the MDC Alliance and the other MDC Alliance MPs carry on, they will leave Chamisa politically vulnerable.
The real target of this grand political strategy is the person who provides the most credible political competition to Emmerson Mnangagwa.
If the MDC Alliance succumbs to this divide and rule, it will be the end of opposition politics as we have known it for the past two decades. And this will have been achieved by paying one faction of the MDC against the other.