SENGEZO Tshabangu is joining Parliament after the self-imposed interim secretary-general of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) appointed himself as a senator, barely six months after he seized control of the opposition political party.
The politician, who rose to infamy for recalling lawmakers and councillors, will be in 10th Parliament as one of the CCC Proportional Representatives, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) announced yesterday.
In a notice published in the Government Gazette yesterday, Zec chairperson Priscilla Chigumba announced the nominations made by the CCC to fill the vacancies in the Senate resulting from the recalls.
Tshabangu’s name appeared alongside those of other politicians from various provinces including Bulawayo, Matabeleland North, Masvingo, and Manicaland.
The announcement invites objections from the public regarding the nominations within a period of 14 days from the publication date. Objections are to be lodged in writing with the chief elections officer in Harare, providing reasons for the objection.
“The public is hereby notified, in terms of 39(6) of the Electoral Act [Chapter 2:13], that the Citizens Coalition for Change has nominated registered voters specified in the First Schedule to fill the vacancies in the Senate that occurred following the recall of persons specified in the Second Schedule who were members of the Senate for the provinces opposite their names by virtue of section 120(1)(a) of the Constitution,” read part of the gazette which carried Tshabangu’s name along with those of politicians from Bulawayo, Matabeleland North, Masvingo and Manicaland.
“Any voter wishing to object to the nomination of each of the persons specified in the First Schedule may lodge them in writing with the Chief Elections Officer, Mahachi Quantum Building, corner Kaguvi Street and Jason Moyo Avenue, Harare, or post them to Private Bag 7782, Causeway, within a period of 14 days from the date of publication of this notice, setting forth the reasons for the objection.”
The vacancies in the Senate were created when Tshabangu, in a letter to the Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda dated October 3, 2023, announced the recall of 14 legislators, including proportional representation MPs predominantly from Matabeleland South, Matabeleland North, and Bulawayo provinces.
Following the recalls, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose Zanu-PF party lost all seats in Bulawayo, swiftly announced by-elections scheduled for December 9.
Another round of by-elections was held early this month which gave Zanu PF a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly.
Tshabangu defended his decision to recall CCC’s elected candidates, alleging that many were imposed by unnamed party officials from Harare. He specifically criticised the imposition of candidates from outside their respective constituencies, citing examples such as candidates from Masvingo and Manicaland.
Among those singled out by Tshabangu were Cowdray Park MP Pashor Sibanda and Bulawayo Mayor David Coltart, whom he accused of benefiting from the imposition of candidates.
Tshabangu further revealed that he personally selected candidates for the by-elections without holding internal primary elections within the party.