Boycott politics by Zimbabwean opposition continues; MDC Alliance abscond SONA

The leader of the opposition MDC Alliance called the few remaining members of parliament to boycott the State of the National Address by Zimbabwean President Emerson Mnangagwa.

Despite the increased prevalence of boycotting of almost anything and everything that involves President Mnangagwa by the Chamisa lead MDC Alliance, Zimbabweans still have an incomplete picture of the sociopolitical and psychological underpinnings or the effectiveness of such acts.

Depleted by their internal strive and legal battles for control of the official opposition. Some of the remaining MDC Alliance MPs took heed of their leaders call to boycott President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday at the Parliament Building in central Harare.

Some Zimbabweans are beginning to question this style of protest and juxtapose it to the style of Malema across the Limpopo in South Africa.

The Chamisa way of politics seems inefficient and ineffective.

The boycott style of politics has been Chamisa’s response to claims that Mnangagwa rigged the results of the 2018 presidential election.

Over 60 MDC Alliance MPs have been recalled from Parliament after a rival splinter group, the MDC-T led by Douglas Mwonzora, said they were no longer party members after the legislators showed their allegiance to Chamisa.

Other remaining lawmakers from the opposition have crossed the floor to join Mwonzora in fear of being recalled.

The handful of MPs that joined Mwonzora’s camp including the MDC-T leader attended Thursday’s SONA, which Mnangagwa addressed live virtually from State House.

However, the few MDC Alliance MPs who were not present in the House of Assembly included the vocal Zengeza West Job Sikhala, Mutare Central Innocent Gonese, Harare North Rusty Markham, Harare West Joanna Mamombe, and Magwegwe Anele Ndebele.

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In 2019, House of Assembly Speaker Jacob Mudenda ruled MDC Alliance MPs who had that year boycotted Mnangagwa’s SONA would not receive their sitting allowances for five months.

However, the matter was thrown away after the opposition MPs filed an appeal at the High Court.

Efforts to get a comment from MDC Alliance MPs on why they had boycotted SONA were fruitless.