By Pamenus Tuso
OPPOSITION Zapu is contemplating its own round of recalls from Parliament on all its former members, including Zanu PF national spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo, who went in the august House through the ruling party’s ticket in the last election.
Zanu PF is a merger between former liberation movements, Zanu and PF Zapu through the 1987 unity accord.
In 2008, the now late Dumiso Dabengwa led a handful former Zapu top politicians into a pull out from Zanu PF to revive Zapu.
The group cited, among others violence, corruption and marginalisation of Zapu members, as one of the reasons for ditching Zanu PF.
However, some former Zapu officials such as SK Moyo and Sithembiso Nyoni remained within Zanu PF.
Nyoni is the current Small and Medium Enterprises Minister and Zanu PF MP for Nkayi North.
Zapu sources told NewZimbabwe.com Sunday the party’s national executive committee (NEC) met last week and discussed the possibility of recalling from Parliament, the party’s members who are still in Zanu PF.
The committee also discussed the party ‘s forthcoming elective congress which has been set for the end of April.
The party’s southern region director of communication Patrick Ndlovu confirmed the meeting took place.
“I can confirm that out national executive met last week and discussed several pertinent issues including our preparations for the forthcoming congress. On the issue of recalls, which you have asked about, I can confirm our legal team has noted that a precedent has been set following the recent recalls of MDC Alliance MPs,” he said.
“We still have some Zapu people purporting to be the party’s members in government yet their membership with Zapu has ceased since the unity accord is now dead. These people are now subject to recall from Parliament by Zapu.”
Other former Zapu politicians who are still in Zanu PF and are being targeted include, Education Minister Cain Mathema, who is also a senator and Umzingwane MP Levi Mayihlome.
Zapu’s impending recalls will also affect any former Zapu member who is likely to replace former Vice President Kembo Mohadi who resigned in a storm last month following revelations of sexual romps with female subordinates and married lovers.
Former ZIPRA combatant and current Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Philip Valerio Sibanda is among some of the former Zapu cadres tipped to replace Mohadi.
Zapu’s secretary for international relations Future Masebele also confirmed the development.
“The issue of recalls has been extensively discussed at various Zapu platforms. I had a meeting with ZIPRA after the national executive committee meeting. We discussed many strategic issues and the issue of recalls was also on the agenda,” he said.
“The precedent has been set and we are working with our legal team and also with ZIPRA structures to identify those who claim to be Zapu members in government and who no longer represent the values of the party.”
Masebele is contesting for the post of Zapu secretary general in the pending party elections.
He said the party’s constitution clearly stated that if one ceased to be a member of the party, he or she expels himself or herself from the organisation.
“One ceases to be a member of Zapu once you promote the interests of another political party or by becoming a member of another political party. Once ZIPRA has concluded with the list, then we will write a letter to the Speaker of Parliament (Jacob Mudenda) and recall,” he said.
During the recent recall of MDC Alliance by the MDC-T and the People’s Democratic Party, Mudenda said he could only act upon receiving a letter of recall from the concerned party.
Masebele also denounced the recent recalling of MDC Alliance MPs describing the decision as Zanu PF’s machinations to cripple opposition parties ahead of the 2023 elections.
“As Zapu, we are aware of these machinations,” he said.
A Bulawayo based constitutional law expert and human rights lawyer Nqobani Sithole said Zapu has a strong case on the possibility of recalling its former members from Zanu PF.
“A precedent has been set right or wrong. We know for a fact that it is now possible to recall members from parliament based on different reasons. This has been happening since time immemorial.
“Now it is a fact that Zanu PF as it stands is a merger of two political parties that is PF Zapu and Zanu. The long and short of it is that any member either Zanu or PF Zapu can be recalled from Parliament.
“So it is possible that Simon Khaya Moyo and Sithembiso Nyoni can be recalled from Parliament. I do not think there is going to be any argument there. The stage has been set. It is possible,” said Ndlovu.