President Emmerson Mnangagwa is spearheading the recall of Movement for Democratic Change Alliance lawmakers in an attempt to decimate Zimbabwe’s opposition, according to Senator Jim Risch, chairperson of the United States Foreign Relations Committee.
In a tweet, Risch said, “The recall of @BitiTendai and other members of parliament in #Zimbabwe last week is yet another example of the systematic dismantling of the elected political opposition & subversion of the will of the Zimbabwean people.”
The People’s Democratic Party led by Lucy Matibenga recalled Biti, Settlement Chikwinya, William Madzimire, Sichelesile Mahlangu, Regai Tsunga and Kucaca Phulu claiming that they are no longer members of the party.
Phulu told VOA Zimbabwe Service the legislators were recalled by a person “who is not a member of our party. The whole thing is suspicious. We know that this is an attempt by Mnangagwa to destroy the opposition.”
Zanu PF has in the past claimed that the opposition is being sponsored by the West, which imposed targeted sanctions on some Zanu PF officials following allegations of election rigging and human rights abuses.
United States President Joseph Biden recently renewed targeted sanctions imposed on some Zanu PF officials in 2003, saying there are no tangible economic and political reforms in Zimbabwe.
In a notice to Congress, Biden said, “President Emmerson Mnangagwa has not made the necessary political and economic reforms that would warrant terminating the existing targeted sanctions program. Throughout the last year, government security services routinely intimidated and violently repressed citizens, including members of opposition political parties, union members, and journalists.
“The absence of progress on the most fundamental reforms needed to ensure the rule of law, democratic governance, and the protection of human rights leaves Zimbabweans vulnerable to ongoing repression and presents a continuing threat to peace and security in the region.”
Some people, who responded to Risch’s tweet, urged the United States to take action against Zanu PF while others said the U.S. should not interfere in the running of Zimbabwe.
One of them, who identified himself as Cde Samhanga, said, “…Zimbabwe is a sovereign state, it is the people of Zimbabwe who decide what it should be with total observance of its Constitution. Your hidden Agenda in Zim is now public knowledge. The will of the people in Zimbabwe is prevailing. No to regime change Agenda.”
Some of them said America should help in restoring democracy in Zimbabwe.
Majaira Jairosi said, “U.S. does not lose anything by proscribing Zanu PF as a terrorist party. Since Zanu PF rebels took over the government in Nov 2017, Zimbabweans in general and opposition members in particular have known no peace. Persecution and abuse of female opposition members is unprecedented.”
Shepherd Yuda expressed the same view. “I have said it time and again that declare Zanu PF a terrorist organisation so we deal with it decisively.”
Tendai Zinyama also wrote, “Zimbabwe is no longer a democratic state as 48 duly elected parliamentarians were recalled at the instigation of Zanu PF and another parliamentarian Joana Mamombe is in jail just to spite her as well as intimidate other citizens into submission. A one party state is being created.”
The ruling party says it is not planning to create a one-party state like what the late former President Robert Mugabe attempted to do soon after Zimbabwe attained independence from British rule.