In a letter written to Jacob Mudenda, PDP Secretary-General Benjamin Rukanda recalled a number of legislators who were voted into Parliament in the 2018 Harmonised Elections as MDC Alliance candidates. The MPs who were recalled by PDP were:
- Tendai Biti
- Settlement Chikwinya
- Kucaca Pulu
- Sithelihliwe Mahlangu
- Regai Tsunga
- William Mudzimure
The recalls came after High Court judge, Justice Sylvia Chirawu-Mugomba, said the PDP faction led by Lucia Matibenga has the power to recall the party’s MPs and councillors who have joined the post-election MDC-Alliance party led by Nelson Chamisa.
On 14 April 2021, the High Court ruled that Rukanda was not from PDP. Jacob Mafume told a publication that as PDP they were in the process of getting the order to serve the Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda.
US Government Statement on His Recall
The United States says it is following events in Zimbabwe “closely”, including the recall of MDC Alliance Vice President Tendai Biti from parliament on 17 March 2021. Biti and several MDC Alliance MPs were recalled from parliament after a fringe political party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) led by Lucia Matibenga wrote to the Speaker of the Assembly saying the legislators were no longer party officials.
The former Harare East MP formed PDP after his shock split from the main MDC 2014 only to find his own the splinter group further split with Matibenga controlling the other faction which last week brought the recall action to the national assembly.
However, in a statement in the morning of Tuesday 23 March 2021, the US Department of State spokesperson, Ned Price accused Zanu PF of misusing levers of government to silence critics, neutralise the opposition, and entrench its political power over the citizens.
“The United States is following events in Zimbabwe closely, including the troubling moves on March 17, 2021 to strip Movement for Democratic Change Alliance (MDC Alliance) Vice President Tendai Biti and other MDC Alliance members of their elected seats in Parliament,” Price said.
“Since March 2020, parliamentary manoeuvers supported by the Zimbabwean government have led to the ouster of 39 MDC Alliance MPs and 81 local elected officials. These actions subvert the will of voters, further undermine democracy, and deny millions of Zimbabwean citizens their chosen representation.”
He added the US continued to monitor efforts by the government to dismantle the MDC Alliance through the arrest and detention of its leaders and diversion of its assets.
- ZimLive, Twitter, Published: March 17, 2021, Retrieved: March 17, 2021
- OpenParly, Twitter, Published: March 17, 2021, Retrieved: March 17, 2021
- Lovemore, Tendai Biti Bounces Back To Parliament, Pindula, Published: April 14, 2021, Retrieved: April 14, 2021
- , New Zimbabwe, Published: 23 March, 2021, Accessed: 23 March, 2021