Zvamaida Murwira, Harare Bureau
Parliament has expelled five Zanu-PF legislators after the ruling party notified the august House that they no longer represent the interests of the revolutionary party.
The expelled members are Messrs Ignatius Chombo (Zvimba North), Saviour Kasukuwere (Mount Darwin South), Jonathan Moyo (Tsholotsho North), Kudzanai Chipanga (Makoni West) and Ms Mandiitawepi Chimene (Makoni South).
The party’s Extraordinary Central Committee meeting held a fortnight ago recommended the expulsion of the group for fomenting chaos and divisions in Zanu-PF.
Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Cde Mabel Chinomona announced yesterday that by operation of the law, the constituencies were now vacant.
“The Chair would like to notify this august House that on the 27th of November 2017, Parliament was notified by the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front that the following members: Honourable Mandiitawepi Chimene (Makoni South), Kudzanai Chipanga (Makoni West), Professor Jonathan Moyo (Tsholotsho North), Ignatius Chombo (Zvimba North) and Saviour Kasukuwere (Mount Darwin South) have ceased to be members of Zanu-PF party and, therefore, no longer represent the interests of the party in Parliament,” she said.
“The notification was signed by Honourable (Patrick) Chinamasa in his capacity as the Secretary for Legal Affairs of Zanu-PF.”
Cde Chinomona said the recall was made in terms of Section 129 (1)(k) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
Section 129 (1) provides as follows: “The seat of a Member of Parliament becomes vacant if the member has ceased to belong to the political party of which he or she was a member when elected to Parliament and the political party concerned, by written notice to the Speaker or the President of the Senate, as the case may be, has declared that the Member has ceased to belong to it.”
Cde Chinomona said: “Pursuant to the above, I do hereby inform this august House that vacancies have arisen in the following constituencies by the operation of the law: Makoni South, Makoni West, Tsholotsho North, Zvimba North and Mount Darwin South.
“The necessary administrative measures will be taken to inform His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission of the existence of the vacancies in line with Section 39 (1) of the Electoral Act (Chapter 2:13) as amended.”
After the announcement, Kuwadzana East Member of Parliament Advocate Nelson Chamisa (MDC-T) sought clarification on whether or not by-elections would be held to fill the vacancies given what Section 158 (3) of the Constitution provided.
The Section says: “Polling in by-election to Parliament and local authorities must take place within 90 days after the vacancies occurred unless the vacancies occur within nine months before a general election is due to be held in which event the vacancies may remain unfilled until the general election.”
In response, Cde Chinomona said their duty as Parliament was to notify the House and the President and it was up the Head of State and Government, together with ZEC, to decide on what to do with said vacant constituencies.
Prior to the expulsions, Dr Chombo was Zanu-PF Secretary for Administration and Finance and Economic Development Minister, while Mr Kasukuwere was the National Political Commissar and Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.
Prof Moyo was a Zanu-PF Politburo Member and Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development.
Ms Chimene was Minister of Provincial Affairs for Manicaland province, while Mr Chipanga was the Secretary for the Youth League.
There were several other members of the G40 faction that the Central Committee recommended to be either expelled or suspended in terms of the ruling party’s Constitution after they allegedly usurped the powers of the former President, Cde Robert Mugabe.
Meanwhile, legislators yesterday took turns to congratulate Cde Auxillia Mnangagwa, who is now the First Lady, following the elevation of President Emmerson Mnangagwa as Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.
Legislators, particularly from Zanu-PF, would first congratulate Amai Mnangagwa, who is Chirumhanzu-Zibagwe MP, before making their contribution.
Each time she was acknowledged, Amai Mnangagwa, who was in the Chamber, would rise and nod.