MDC Alliance MPs Back In Parliament As Chamisa Lifts Divisive Boycott

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By Anna Chibamu/Costa Nkomo

THE MDC National Council met Wednesday and resolved to abandon its highly divisive order for its MPs to boycott all parliamentary business.

It was business as usual at the National Assembly Wednesday afternoon as the majority of MPs from the main opposition party returned for sitting.

MDC Alliance Deputy Spokesperson Clifford Hlatshwayo confirmed the lifting of the boycott saying it was a directive from the party’s grassroots which indicated MPs should continue with their parliamentary work.

“The National Council sat today (Wednesday) and resolved that our MPs return to Parliament and do their work. The National Council sanctioned what the party’s grassroots have indicated to its party leadership that legislators must resume their work. The party will, however, issue a comprehensive statement through our party spokesperson Advocate (Fadzayi) Mahere.”

The Nelson Chamisa led MDC recently took the stance to boycott all Parliament business after four of its senior officials were expelled as MPs by Speaker Jacob Mudenda on the advice of reinstated MDC-T secretary general Douglas Mwonzora.

Mwonzora took the drastic decision to remove the MPs from the house saying they were no longer party (MDC-T) members.

The expelled MPs are Charlton Hwende, Thabitha Khumalo, Prosper Mutseyami and Lilian Timveous.

Soon after their expulsion, the MDC Alliance resolved to boycott parliament in protest over alleged bias by Speaker Jacob Mudenda.

MPs who spoke to Wednesday said they were told to return to parliament following a National Council meeting held at the party’s Morgan Richard Tsvangirai headquarters Wednesday morning.

Only a few MPs who included MDC Alliance co-vice presidents, Tendai Biti, and Lynette Kore were absent. However, senior officials like Job Sikhala, the MDC Alliance Deputy Chairperson; Organising Secretary Amos Chibaya and Sesel Zvidzai, Harare Central MP were in attendance.

The decision to abandon the boycott strategy could also have been inspired by that it was turning to be highly divisive as some MPs were beginning to defy the directive fearing for their political lives amid threats by the Thokozani Khupe led faction to withdraw more members if they continued to miss house business.

MDC Alliance MPs on seated on the left hand side of the image