Opposition MDC-T leader, Douglas Mwonzora has ordered party Member of Parliament (MPs) not to boycott Parliamentary sessions even when president Emmerson Mnangagwa is delivering speeches.
Mwonzora’s spokesperson Lloyd Damba told NewsDay after MDC-T’s first Parliamentary caucus after the December Extra-ordinary congress that the party was taking a different approach from now forward. He said:
Our policy is not to boycott Parliament, even if Mnangagwa is addressing. It makes no sense at all when people elected our parliamentarians to go to Parliament and then they boycott or they are ordered to boycott by the party leadership.
It is short-changing the electorate. Party parliamentarians must take their work seriously. The time to sing in Parliament and walking out is over.
To disrespect Parliament is to disrespect the voters. We now have a mature leadership at the helm of the party and we need to take advantage of this to engage Zanu PF on meaningful national issues respectfully as adults.
This is contrary to the approach by rival MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa which often boycotts Parliamentary sessions when president Mnangagwa is in attendance.
MDC Alliance argues that Mnangagwa is an illegitimate president after the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) allegedly connived with the ruling ZANU PF to manipulate the electoral process in Mnangagwa’s favour.
As a way to demonstrate that Mnangagwa is illegitimate, the party has in the party resorted to boycotting all Parliamentary events that were attended by president Mnangagwa lest they “endorse his presidency.”
Despite the claims that MDC Alliance has “overwhelming evidence” to suggest that the 2018 presidential election was rigged, the opposition party has so far failed to prove the alleged electoral fraud that resulted in Mnangagwa retaining power.
Mwonzora’s remarks come when some analysts have called for the resolution of the impasse between ZANU PF and MDC Alliance saying the deadlock was worsening the country’s economic, humanitarian and political crises.
The remarks are likely to enhance the allegations that MDC-T is a ZANU PF project working to destabilise the opposition in the country.
MDC-T has recalled scores of MDC Alliance MPs including Tendai Biti on the basis that by their continued support to Nelson Chamisa, they had “ceased to belong to MDC-T” the party that gave them the ticket into the 2018 elections.