Principals should resolve senate impasse — MPs

SENATORS  from the two MDC  formations and Zanu PF said this week that the three political principals should urgently meet and solve the current political crisis which has seen relations between President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai deteriorate further after the president’s unilateral appointments, which angered the premier.

The senators’ call comes after the upper house adjourned till February next year after it failed to sit for two consecutive days as MDC-T Senators disrupted business arguing that the disputed reappointed provincial governors should be barred from the House. Tsvangirai declared last month that the re-appointments were null and void.
They said an urgent political solution on the senate dispute should be found to keep the country from sliding back into the pre-2008 political and economic quagmire.
Besides staying away from cabinet twice, Tsvangirai had stopped attending the Monday meetings with Mugabe and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara. The MDC-T leader has also threatened to sue Mugabe for the “illegal and unconstitutional” appointments.
The senate was expected to pass the National Security Council Amendment Bill, Public Order and Security Act Amendment Bill and a number of international treaties already approved by the lower House.
Governors Faber Chidarikire (Mashonaland West), David Karimanzira (Harare), Thokozile Mathuthu (Matabeleland North), Jaison Machaya (Midlands) and Martin Dinha (Mashonaland Central ) refused to leave the House arguing their re-appointments were done above board.
MDC senator and Education minister David Coltart said the principals should show their statesmanship by putting the interest of the nation before parochial party interests.
“The political impasse risks undermining all the political and economic gains recorded since the promulgation of the inclusive government in 2009,” Coltart said. “They (principals) have an obligation to the electorate. It requires statesmanship from all the three principals to resolve the matter and resolve it urgently before it deteriorates further.”
The dispute, however, seems far from being resolved as both Zanu PF and MDC-T have burrowed deeper into their entrenched positions.
MDC-T senators have vowed never to recognise the “controversially” re-appointed governors, saying they should not take up their seats in the Senate.
MDC-T Senate chief whip Gladys Dube said: “We are sending a strong message to the principals that they should resolve this dispute the soonest if any senate business has to go ahead. We will continue calling for the disputed governors not to be recognised in the House until the president appoints governors according to the Global Political Agreement’s agreed ratio.”
Zanu PF senate chief whip Tambudzai Mohadi said the principals should meet to resolve the dispute as it was interfering with the House’s business.
“We are worried about the disruptions of business in the House,” Mohadi said.  “Some of us travel more than 1 000 kilometres to come and conduct House business only to see this (disruption of proceedings). The three principals may have to sit down and make a decision quickly.” 
Mohadi said Zanu PF was worried that the electorate was being shortchanged by the senate’s non-sitting.Mashonaland Central governor Dinha said they would continue attending senate sessions as they were constitutionally reappointed.

 

Paidamoyo Muzulu