Nelson Chamisa’s opposition MDC Alliance suffered a huge blow from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) after the country’s poll governing body declared 15 seats in the House of Assembly and the Senate vacant following recalls of the legislators at the behest of Thokozani Khupe’s MDC-T.
Chigumba made the announcement in a gazetted notice recently. The Zec boss’ move comes in the aftermath of a formal notice of the 15 vacancies by Parliament.
Senators elected on the party lists and the extra women Members in the National Assembly elected by proportional representation are chosen by political parties in proportion to the votes received by their candidates in the constituency elections to the National Assembly.
Customarily, in the event that one of these seats falls vacant the original party nominates the successor.
In the National Assembly, the affected pro-Chamisa former MPs include Thabitha Khumalo, Virginia Zengeya, Anna Myambo, Bacillia Majaya, Machirarwa Mugidho, Francisca Ncube and Nomathemba Ndlovu while in the Senate, Siphiwe Ncube, Gideon Shoko, Helen Zivira, Keresencia Chabuka, Tapfumaneyi Wunganayi, Herbert Sinampande, Meliwe Phuti and Lilian Timveous were affected.
They were recalled in terms of a constitutional provision that declares seats held by members of the party that sponsored them in the last election vacant.
In this case, the vacant seats were occupied by legislators who, in 2018, won elections on the ticket of Chamisa’s MDC-A but a shock legal verdict declared the dismissed legislators as members of Khupe’s MDC-T.
The latter, through its reinstated Secretary General Douglas Mwonzora wrote to the Speaker of Parliament and also to the Senate President to declare that the aforementioned MPs no longer represented the interests of the MDC-T fronted by Khupe.
On Sunday, Mwonzora told state media that the MDC-T was proceeding to nominate replacements for the 15 MPs and Senators.
“We are replacing those elected under Proportionate Representative and we await guidance on those MPs that had constituencies. There is nothing that stops us from replacing them because we have appealed against a High Court judgment which interdicted us from replacing two Senators and noting of an appeal has the effect of suspending that judgment,” he said.
The developments have been roundly castigated by the MDC-A which contends that the recalled legislators were elected on the ticket of the Chamisa-led political outfit.
Khupe and Chamisa have been involved in a nasty leadership tussle amid allegations that the country’s courts, reportedly ‘captured’ by Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Zanu PF Government, has been working on a sinister plot to weaken the MDC-A.
Additional Reporting: Zwnews