A KEY vote for a new Speaker of Parliament was postponed on Tuesday after the sitting of the House of Assembly was indefinitely suspended.
MPs are expected to choose a Speaker at the next sitting after Lovemore Moyo’s 2008 election was nullified by the Supreme Court on March 10.
The Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma cancelled a scheduled sitting of Parliament on Tuesday pending the announcement of a date for the election of Speaker, but was immediately criticised by the MDC-T.
“The constitution, standing orders and Supreme Court ruling oblige us to go back to the beginning to procedurally and lawfully fill the vacancy in the office of Speaker created by the dissolution of Parliament at the beginning of 2008,” Zvoma said.
“Accordingly, I as Clerk of Parliament duly mandated to comply with provisions of the constitution and Standing orders, do hereby announce that the election of the Speaker will take place on a future date to be announced in due course.”
Zvoma said there would be no further parliamentary business until a new Speaker was elected in line with the constitution.
He added that decisions made by Moyo during his time as Speaker remain valid “for legal and other consequences”.
Moyo, who is chairman of the MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, was kicked out of the Speaker’s chair when the Supreme Court ruled his election had breached secret ballot rules.
Six MPs, including Moyo, had displayed their filled ballot papers to the party’s parliamentary leadership against rules.
The MDC-T has since said Moyo will run again, while Zanu PF is thought to be considering Simon Khaya Moyo.
Reacting to Zvoma's move, the MDC-T said its MPs "will proceed to Parliament in spite of a unilateral cancellation of Parliament by Austin Zvoma, a Zanu PF functionary".
"Zanu PF is scared of the vote for Speaker because of factionalism and divisions in that party. The people’s party of excellence, MDC, is united and ready to win the vote together with other progressive members of parliament across the political divide."