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Reservations On Moyo As Speaker

The new Speaker of Parliament MP Lovemore Moyo has called on the people of Zimbabwe to unite for the good of the country.



THE Honourable MP Lovemore Moyo, who is also the acting national chairperson of the Movement for Democratic Change said good words that must get the applause of every progressive Zimbabwean.

The deal that the two MDC formations entered into with Zanu PF is a reflection of serious compromises that nationalistic quest calls for.

I am really happy to have a Speaker who thinks with such magnamity when it comes to the task of getting Zimbabwe back on track.

Yet the success of the noble project that he calls all Zimbabweans to invest in will also demand a reformation if not a radical transformation in personalities and the starting point will be with him. As the national chairperson of the MDC he failed to unite his own political party.

The MDC that is led by Prime Minister-designate Morgan Tsvangirai went into the March elections divided; it was a loose coalition of people fed up with the rule of Zanu PF and we saw the circus in many constituencies where MDC-T fielded more than one candidate.

There are many such constituencies which the party lost because they divided the vote among themselves.

I do not doubt Lovemore Moyo’s tenacity to change but it has to come quickly.

It is very unfortunate that the people of Zimbabwe are hungry for success and that the MDC will never be allowed to play around the learning curve in government.

A country besieged by hunger, poverty, the trampling of its rights and outright bullying from liberators turned revolutionary aristocrats will never have the patience to see the MDC write a book which has an erratum that is larger than the content itself.

The position that Moyo has is an influential one because he is the referee for people making laws in a country where the rule of law is a concept existing only on paper.

On October 13, 2007 in the UK Moyo declared that he “would not have regard to the MDC Constitution . . . and that he could actually tear it apart”.

He proceeded to completely disregard the Constitution as he had boasted.

He went on to dissolve a committee that was provided for constitutionally. In doing so he did not want to hear other views.

Up to now I am one of those few people who are still waiting for my views to be heard and for business to be done properly.

The euphoria that greeted his election is understandable but we do need to point out these clear inconsistencies.

I worry for the country if we have leaders who proceed by claiming credibility on the altar of hypocrisy.

People still have memories of the Lucia Matibenga (MDC Women’s Assembly) and the MDC UK and Ireland saga.

For if we start from a point of sweeping our weaknesses under the carpet we proceed on fallacies and fantasies and five years from now the MDC revolution will have been the Mwai Kibaki one which had to be challenged after it failed and was seen to be unfit for all purposes because it became a circus of corruption, nepotism and tribalism.

We should not forget that Mwai Kibaki was in opposition in 2002 and Kenya had suffered under the autocratic rule of Daniel Arap Moi and Kibaki was henceforth heralded as a saviour when he first ascended to power.

A Speaker of Parliament is at the centre of the legislative arm of the government.

He presides over the making of laws and must be the custodian of such laws.

Zimbabwe will be the laughing stock of the world if they have a Speaker who will boast that he will not be held to account for the same laws.

Things change, some of them very fast, the Speaker must reinvent himself for the good of his offices. He must start by calling himself acting national chairperson of the MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, he is yet to be confirmed in that post by due process and he is not a substantive national chairperson yet. Those small things matter.

He should be able to remind others that the party is called MDC whose leader is Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and not MDC-Tsvangirai because that personalises the people’s party and extends the same problems of cultism that has doomed African politics.

The inclusion of the MDC in government can make or break the party and the excitement which followed the agreement must not override the cautious approach that needs to be taken.

The public should be able to see in the MDC a functioning democracy where the ministers and all portfolio holders adhere to laws made from a disciplined and industrious parliament.

In the run-up to the unconstitutional process that was later called “dissolution” of the MDC UK and Ireland and the MDC Women’s Assembly the acting national chairman violated not only the Constitution but the due process principle with impunity.

There was open favouritism prompted by nepotism and bribery and I put these allegations squarely at the door of Moyo and in doing so I am mindful of the serious implications this may have on my future career prospects.

I do not hate anyone especially from the MDC but a friend who will not tell you the truth is not a good friend at all.

In the past the acting national chairperson heard the views of one side, which bought him an air ticket and paid his hotel bills; but still thought he was not compromised and that he still had credibility in whatever he did later.

Of course the products of what he did have been derided to this day and we have not accepted it; but in this dispensation my hope is things will be done differently.

He is not the first Speaker Zimbabwe has had.

There are two to emulate; Cyril Ndebele who is my best Speaker ever because he is the person who against all odds protected vigorously the principle of impunity for words said in Parliament.

Yes he is the man who shielded Dzikamai Mavhaire from censure for saying “Mugabe must go!” and he is also the person who protected Margaret Dongo when she said: “Mese muri vakadzi vaMugabe . . .”

That was exceptional given that she was one of the only three opposition MPs in Parliament that time. It was under Ndebele’s leadership of the house that the War Victims Compensation Fund saga and the Harare municipality corruption case were brought before the scrutiny of the public.

I think Ndebele is only seconded by John Landa Nkomo because the preceeding Parliament had no incident.

That brings me to the worst Speakers who should never be emulated. Emmerson Mnangagwa is the worst because during his tenure people fought in Parliament.

Three people were involved but only one was arrested; Roy Bennett. All committed the same offence in my view but Bennett may have been arrested because he was a white MDC parliamentarian.

So Bennett was arrested because he was a white member of the MDC and Emmerson Mnangagwa did nothing to stop his unfair incarceration.

The other very bad example of the leadership of the house can be seen in 1984 when Didymus Mutasa was at the helm.

Moyo must look at all these people and his own immediate past which can be challenged, as he unconstitutionally interfered with structures when as an acting national chairperson he did not have the most important and basic thing; the locus standi to do the work of a substantive.

He can change but he has little time; that change must come faster for the good of the party and the nation.

By Julius Sai Mutyambizi-Dewa 

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