Zvamaida Murwira Harare Bureau
Parliament’s presiding officers have notified President Mugabe and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission of the occurance of vacancies in both the National Assembly and Senate following MDC-T’s decision to recall 21 MPs, thus paving way for by-elections.
The Speaker of the National Assembly, Advocate Jacob Mudenda and Senate President Cde Edna Madzongwe wrote to ZEC and the President in terms of the Constitution.
This followed a decision by the MDC-T to recall 21 legislators saying they no longer represented the opposition party’s interests as envisaged by the Constitution.
The 21 left the MDC-T and joined the recently formed United Movement for Democratic Change.
Acting Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda confirmed this yesterday.
“Parliament’s presiding officers wrote to ZEC and the President in terms of section 129 (1) (k) of the Constitution. What the letters merely stated was that the members had been withdrawn from Parliament. In terms of the law, there is no obligation for us to write individual letters to the Members concerned,” said Chokuda.
Section 129(1) (k) of the Constitution 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 Senate, as the case may be, has declared that the Member has ceased to belong to it.”
The notification of both the President and ZEC lays the ground for proclamation of election dates to replace the expelled legislators.
The expulsion reduced the MDC-T seats in Parliament from 91 to 70.
Zanu-PF has 192 seats in the National Assembly down from 197, with by-elections due in five constituencies it previously held but fell vacant due to expulsions, deaths and the elevation of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and former Vice President Joice Mujuru.
The 17 members that were expelled from the National Assembly are Tendai Biti (Harare East), Willias Madzimure (Kambuzuma), Lucia Matibenga (Kuwadzana East), Paul Madzore (Glen View), Reggie Moyo (Luveve), Solomon Madzore (Dzivarasekwa), Bekithemba Nyathi (Mpopoma Pelandaba), Albert Mhlanga (Pumula), Moses Manyengavana (Highfield West), Samuel Sipepa Nkomo (Lobengula), Roseline Nkomo (Tsholotsho North), Settlement Chikwinya (Mbizo), Gorden Moyo (Makokoba) and Arnold Tsunga (Chikanga Dangamvura).
Those who got in the National Assembly through proportional representation and were also booted out are; Evelyn Masaiti, Judith Muzhavazhe and Gladys Mathe.
Those who lost their seats in the Senate are Sekai Holland, Rorana Muchihwa (Harare Metropolitan), Watchy Sibanda (Matabeleland South) and Patrick Chitaka (Manicaland).