Exiled former ZANU PF Politburo member Jonathan Moyo says Zimbabwe should enact a law that makes it mandatory for all political parties to be registered to prevent the formation of secret societies that could undermine national security.
In a Twitter thread, Moyo queried why the Nelson Chamisa-led CCC does not have structures and a constitution and accused the party of glorifying Ian Smith and Cecil John Rhodes. Moyo wrote:
1/16 The saga of a “structureless” & constitutionless # has put a spotlight on the legal status of political parties in Zim. While the Constitution in s3 declares Zim as a ‘multi-party democratic system’, it does not define the nature, functions & rights of political parties!
2/16 In the Bill of Rights the Constitution of Zimbabwe, under s67 dealing with political rights, does not distinguish between “a political party” and “an organisation”. Effectively, this means a political party is an organisation. It follows that an organisation is a structure!
3/16 Apropos s67 of the Constitution, the Electoral Act defines a political party as “any political organisation”. Since an organisation is a structure, this means that a political party is not a particular structure; but any structure; whose type must be given or made known!
4/16 Notably, the Political Parties (Finance) Act defines a political party as “an association of persons the primary objective of which is to secure the election of one or more of its members to a local authority or Parliament”. This means that a political party is a structure!
5/16 Given s67 of the Constitution, as read with the definitions of a political party in the Electoral Act & Political Parties (Finance) Act, it’s clear that a political party is a structure; what’s not there, is the nature, functions, rights and obligations of political parties!
6/16 The fact that Zim law does not provide for the nature, functions, rights and obligations of political parties is a dangerous lacuna in the country’s legislative dispensation. Due to the lacuna, “any organisation”; including a secret society can setup as a political party!
7/16 A country, especially in the developing world, in which secret societies, such as the Triple K (Ku Klux Klan) or the Freemasons, can mushroom unchecked as political parties, is prone to predictable destabilisation & disorder. That is why political parties must be registered!
8/16 As disclosed in the link to the article attached herewith, it is not surprising that, to check against political destabilisation by secret societies, registration of political parties is the norm in countries like the US, UK, Germany & across Africa! drive.google.com/file/d/12_DS42…
9/16 For a perspective, it is notable that registration of political parties is mandatory in all the @countries neighbouring Zimbabwe: South Africa, Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia. No political party in these countries can contest in any election if it is not registered!
10/16 Instructively, Botswana; the oldest continuous democracy in Africa, does not register a political party which is an “affiliate of a foreign organisation” or which does not “provide for membership determination” or is “detrimental to the peace, welfare and order of society”!
11/16 Two facts standout: (a) By not making the registration of political parties mandatory, Zim is out of step with democratic practice in states like the US, UK and Germany, let alone its neighbours. (b) Registration of political parties is not done by electoral commissions!
12/16 It is common cause that the absolute and inescapable need for Zimbabwe to align itself with the globally well-established democratic and constitutional practice of registering political parties has been occasioned by #‘s refusal to be transparent about its structures!
13/16 The refusal by # to be transparent about its structures has been compounded not only by the fact that the party does not have a constitution; but also by the strange reason for the refusal, that the party wants to protect itself from infiltration by ZanuPF or the state!
14/16 The consequence of #‘s refusal to be transparent about its structures is that the party has become deviant; effectively operating as a secret society, and employing political delinquency, such as the glorification of Ian Smith by its supporters, as a political strategy!
15/16 Since # is “structureless” and constitutionless its leaders, who ironically are a structure, are using silence as a strategy to get its members to support unilateral and illegal Western sanctions, demonise land reform and revere Ian Smith and, by extension, Cecil Rhodes!
16/16 Registration of political parties in Zim is long overdue. No secret society should masquerade as a political party or contest any election; no political party should be registered if its leaders or members denigrate the liberation struggle or violate s3 of the Constitution!