By Stanford Madombwe
OPPOSITION MPs have previously boycotted President Emmwerson Mnangagwa’s State of the Nation addresses, but this is now a thing of the past, the MDC-T has revealed
Speaking to the Zimbabwe Voice, MDC-T national chairperson Morgen Komichi said boycott was an old-fashioned strategy that does not help both the people who voted or the MPs themselves, and robust debate with Zanu-PF is now the preferred strategy going forward.
“We are going to make sure that we debate in Parliament. The idea of boycott to us is an old-fashioned strategy that does not work. When you boycott, you are not doing a service to the people who voted you, and you are not doing yourself any favour at all.
“During Chamisa’s leadership, legislators were ordered not to listen to the President of the country, President Mnangagwa, and were instructed or whipped to boycott his SONA and public speeches,” said Komichi.
“… under President Mwonzora, we are pushing for robust debate in Parliament, challenging Government and Zanu-PF instead of running away from them. That is a more modern and effective strategy than boycott. You get a better understanding of your opponent if you debate them than when you run away from them. So, no more boycotts in Parliament. We engage at every opportunity.”
Komichi also said that his party was now in favour of engaging with legislators of differing views instead of recalling them. He described past recalls of MPs, Senators and Councillors as “unfortunate”, and hoped there would be no more recalls going forward.
“It’s not like we have a programme to recall elected officials. Yes, some have been recalled but that is very unfortunate. We believe that engagement is a better way forward than recalling. So as a result of the engagement we have been carrying out, a lot of the MPs, Senators and Councilors now want to work with us.
“Some have seen that they actually misunderstood us right from the beginning. We do not have a programme to recall members; we engage them and many are now comfortable with us because they now understand us much better following the engagement I have talked about” Komichi said.
The recalls are believed to have led to the paralysis of local authorities, particularly Harare, where at least 20 Councillors were sent packing. – Zimbabwe Voice