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Fired MDC Alliance MPs To Challenge ZEC For Declaring Seats Vacant

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

SACKED MDC Alliance MPs whose seats were declared vacant by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) have vowed to challenge the electoral body’s move as their case was still pending before the courts.

ZEC chairperson Priscilla Chigumba laste week declared 15 seats in the National Assembly and Senate vacant after the MPs were recalled from Parliament on the orders of MDC-T Secretary General Douglas Mwonzora.

However, MDC Alliance chairperson Thabitha Khumalo who is also one of affected parliamentarians, said the axed legislators will challenge ZEC’s “shocking” move.

“Firstly, the Electoral Act which ZEC used to approve our nomination does allow it to declare our seats vacant when the Nomination Court did not have issues with us contesting under MDC Alliance,” she said.

“We are going to challenge that though we know nothing will come out of it because of the political dynamics at play,” said Khumalo in an interview with NewZimbabwe.com.

In May, Khumalo and three other affected MPs filed an urgent High Court application to stop the Thokozani Khupe led MDC-T from filling up their seats with that party’s selected appointees.

However, the case is still pending at the High Court. The list of those who lost seats in the National Assembly includes Khumalo, Virginia Zengeya, Anna Myambo, Bacilia Majaya, Machirarwa Mugidho, Francisca Ncube and Nomathemba Ndlovu.

Those to lost seats in the Senate include Siphiwe Ncube, Gideon Shoko, Helen Zivira, Keresencia Chabuka, Tapfumaneyi Wunganayi, Herbert Sinampande, Meliwe Phuti and Lilian Timveous.

While vacancies in the constituency seats in the National Assembly require by-elections, vacancies in the special women’s seats and in the Senate seats do not.

Meanwhile, ZEC has gazetted the appointment of Esther Nyathi as Matabeleland South Proportional Representative Member of the House of Assembly after Zanu PF nominated her to replace Alice Ndlovu who died in December last year.

The announcement was made by Chigumba in a Government Gazette published last week.

“ZEC has gazetted the appointment of Esther Nyathi, the nominee put forward by ZANU PF, as a party list/proportional representation (women’s quota) member of the National Assembly. The appointment is in terms of section 39 (7)(a) of the Electoral Act and with effect from the 31st July 2020,” reads the notice.