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Tsvangirai wins challenge- rebel MPs expelled from Parliament

Seventeen opposition Members of Parliament and four senators were today expelled from the lower and upper houses after the Movement for Democratic Change-Tsvangirai faction applied for their expulsion because they were elected on the MDC-T ticket but left the party to form their own Renewal Team which has now joined the United Movement for Democratic Change.

Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda and President of the Senate Edna Madzongwe today both expelled the legislators in compliance with an application that was made by the MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora.

The expelled members have argued in the past that the MDC-T’s move was tantamount to handing over the seats to the  Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front because the party has stated that it will not contest any by-elections until electoral reforms have been implemented.

 

The ruling both in Parliament and the Senate:

 

MR. SPEAKER: I would like to inform this august House that on the 4th of March, 1015, I was notified by the MDC -T Party that the following members:

1. Hon. Tendai Biti                                                            Harare East

2. Hon. Willas Madzimure                                             Kambuzuma

3. Hon. Lucia Matibenga                                                Kuwadzana

4. Hon. Evelyn Masaiti                                                    Proportional Representation

5. Hon. Paul Madzore                                                     Glen View

6. Hon. Reggie Moyo                                                      Luveve

7. Hon. Solomon Madzore                                           Dzivarasekwa

8. Hon. Bekithemba Nyathi                                          Mpopoma/Pelandaba

9. Hon. Moses Manyengavana                                   Highfield West

10. Hon. Albert Mhlanga                                               Pumula

 11. Hon. Sipepa Nkomo                                                Lobengula

 12. Hon. Roselene Nkomo                                          Tsholothso

 13. Hon. Settlement Chikwinya                                 Mbizo

 14. Hon. Judith Muzhavazhi                                        Proportional Representation

 15. Hon. Gorden Moyo                                                                 Makokoba

 16. Hon. Gladys Mathe                                                                 Proportional Representation

 17. Mr. Arnold Tsunga                                                   Chikanga/Dangamvura

 

have ceased to be members of the MDC-T Party and therefore, no longer represent the interests of the Party in Parliament. The notification was signed by Mr. Mwonzora in his capacity as the Secretary General of the MDC-T Party.

Section 129 (1) (k) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides as follows:

“That a 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”.

In regard to the same matter, I must also notify the House that I also received letters from Hon. Biti dated 6th March, 2015 and 16th March, 2015 challenging the notice of recall on the basis that the Hon. Speaker made a ruling on the same matter in November 2014. There being no change of circumstances, the position is still the same that he Hon. Biti, is the legitimate Secretary General of the MDC-T Party and the concerned members are indeed members of the MDC-T Party.

It is vital that at this point, I should mention that, the ruling announced by the Chair in November 2014, was due to the fact that, there were two cases pending in the High Court involving Tamsanqua Mahlangu and 129 others versus Tendai Biti and others, case number HC 4955/2014 and Tamsanqua Mahlangu and two others versus Tendai Biti and 3 others, case number, HC 5303/14. These were the matters which dealt with the crucial issue of leadership of the MDC -T Party.

The prayer sought in the applications was that, the meeting held at  Mandel Training Centre and all resolutions made thereat, be declared null and void.

It was prudent that I did not pronounce myself on the matter as it was sub judice and against the principle of separation of powers as set out in Section 3 (2) (e) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

In his notification, Mr. Mwonzora made submissions that, there was a change of circumstances in that the two cases that pertained to the leadership wrangle were withdrawn in November 2014 and March 2015 respectively. In the same vein, Hon. Biti and others never approached the courts to claim legitimacy of their leadership of the MDC -T Party.

The resolution to recall the members was reached at the MDC –T congress held in November, 2014. The MDC -T congress was widely advertised and the affected members never sought at the material time, to interdict the holding of that congress nor challenge it in the courts of law in so far as the outcome of that congress was concerned.

Verifications that the matters mentioned are no longer pending before the High Court has been sought and that there is apparently no longer a legal dispute regarding the legitimacy of the leadership of the MDC -T Party in the High Court. If a matter is withdrawn from the courts without the other party seeking to reopen the case, the status quo remains. The courts are constitutionally mandated to interpret and apply the law in the cases that are brought before them. They provide legal solutions to legal problems or disputes.

I must reiterate as I have done in a previous ruling that the notification to the Speaker by the party that a member has ceased to represent its interest in the National Assembly and Parliament, is all that is required at law to create a vacancy and for the Speaker to declare the seat or seats vacant.

The duty of the Speaker, after receipt of the notification, was clearly explained again in the case of Abednico Bhebhe and Others versus The Chairman of National Disciplinary Committee (MDC –T PARTY) HCB 85/2009 by Justice Cheda, which upon receipt of the notification, the Speaker of the National Assembly is constitutionally bound to declare the seat or seats in question as vacant. The  Constitution is very clear, in particular with regard to the obligations on the Speaker and therefore, in the absence of a court order setting aside the MDC-T Party’s decision to expel the affected members, I am obliged to declare the seats vacant. To that extent, the position of the Constitution in Section 129 (1) (k) is unambiguous regarding the declaration of a vacant Parliamentary seat.

Consequently, vacancies have arisen in the following constituencies by the operation of the law:

MR. CHAMISA: Sorry Mr. Speaker to disturb you. On a point of order – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

MR. SPEAKER: May the hon. member sit down.

MR. CHAMISA: It is just a clarification.

MR. SPEAKER: No. May you sit down? You cannot interrupt me. Please take your seat

Mr. Chamisa approached the Chair.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order. I need to protect Hon. Chamisa. He had a valid point which I have accepted.

1. Hon Tendai Biti                                                             Harare East Constituency

2. Hon. Willias Madzimure                                            Kambuzuma

3. Hon. Lucia Matibenga                                                Kuwadzana

4. Hon. Evelyn Masaiti                                                    Proportional Representation

5. Hon. Paul Madzore                                                     Glen View

6. Hon. Reggie Moyo                                                      Luveve

7. Hon. Solomon Madzore                                           Dzivarasekwa

8. Hon. Bekithemba Nyathi                                          Mpopoma/Pelandava

9. Hon. Moses Manyengavana                                   Highfield West

10. Hon. Albert Mhlanga                                               Pumula

11. Hon Sipepa Nkomo                                                  Lobengula

12. Hon. Roseline Nkomo                                             Tsholotsho

13. Hon. Settlement Chikwinya                                  Mbizo

14. Hon. Judith Muzhavazhe                                       Proportional Representation

15. Hon. Gorden Moyo                                                  Makokoba

16. Hon. Gladys Mathe                                                  Proportional Representation

17. Hon. Anorld Tsunga                                                                 Chikanga-Dangamvura

 

The necessary administrative measures will be taken immediately to inform His Excellency, The President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of the existence of the vacancies in line with Section 39 (1) of the Electoral Act, [Chapter 2:13] as amended.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY MADAM PRESIDENT VACANCIES IN THE SENATE

 

MADAM PRESIDENT: I would like to notify this august Senate that on the 4th March, 2015, I was notified by the MDC-T party that the following senators: Hon. Senator S. Holland, Hon. Senator R. Muchihwa, Hon. Senator W. Sibanda and Hon. Senator F. Chitaka, have ceased to be members of the MDC-T party and therefore, no longer represent the interests of the party in Parliament. The notification was signed by Mr. Mwonzora, in his capacity as the Secretary General of the MDC-T party. Section 129, Subsection 1(k) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides as follows: I quote “That a seat of a member of  Parliament becomes vacant if the member has ceased to belong to the political party of which he/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.”

With regard to the same matter, I must also notify the Senate that I also received a letter from Senator Chitaka on the 10th March, 2014, challenging the notice of recall on the basis that he had not formed a new party, neither had he joined another party rather, he had continued to be a member of the MDC-T party. It is vital that at this point I should mention that the notification to the President of the Senate by the party that a member has ceased to represent its interest in the Senate and Parliament, is all that is required at law to create a vacancy and for the President of the Senate to declare the seat vacant.

The duty of the President of the Senate or Speaker of the National Assembly, after receipt of the notification was clearly explained in the case of – “Abednico Bhebhe and others versus the Chairman, National  Disciplinary Committee MDCT Party, HCB 85, 2009 by Justice Cheda,” which upon receipt of the notification, the Speaker of the National Assembly or President of the Senate as the case maybe, is constitutionally bound to declare the seat or seats in question as vacant.

The matter before the court concerned Members of Parliament of the House of Assembly then, hence the referral to the Speaker. The Constitution is very clear, in particular with regard to the obligation of the President of the Senate and therefore, in the absence of a court order setting aside the MDC-T Party’s decision to expel the member, I am obliged to declare the seats vacant. To that extent, the position of the Constitution in Section 129 (1) (k) is unambiguous regarding the declaration of a vacant parliamentary seat. Consequently, vacancies have arisen in the following constituencies by operation of the law:-

1. Senator Sekai Holland                                               Harare Metropolitan

2. Senator Rorana Muchihwa                                      Harare Metropolitan

3. Senator Wachy Sibanda                                            Matebeleland South and

4. Senator Patrick Chitaka                                             Manicaland

The necessary administrative measures will be taken to inform His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of the existence of the vacancies in line with Section 39 (3) of the Electoral Act [Chapter 2:13] as amended.

Those hon. senators cease to be members of this Chamber and I ask them to vacate this Senate.

 

(672 VIEWS)

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  1. Kana uchiziva kuti uri mwana wakauya namai unoshandisa mutupo wamai uchigara pana sekuru ukaita sewakangwara vanokudzinga vachiti hatigari negora. Hatina kuVotera munhu takavhotera MDC-T kana waramba party yedu buda tiise vamwe pliz