By Anna Chibamu
EXCITED Zanu PF MPs Tuesday rubbed salt on expelled MDC Alliance MPs’ wounds as they exited the house following an announcement by the Speaker they had ceased to be sitting legislators.
The battle for control of the main opposition deepened Tuesday with interim MDC-T leader Thokozani Khupe’s harsh recall on nine sitting party MPs.
The nine are substantive legislators Amos Chibaya (Mkoba), Happymore Chidziva (Highfield West) and Murisi Zvidzai (Harare Central).
Also caught in the net were proportional representation MPs, Basilia Majaya, Mutarairwa Mugido, Virginia Muradzikwa, Anna Muyambo, Francesica Ncube and Nomathemba Ndlovu.
But as Chibaya made what would probably be his last walk out of the legislative chamber, Zanu PF MPs feasted on the occasion.
“Ngavabude. Toonana (leave the house. See you next time),” shouted one Zanu PF MP.
Another one shouted, “Takakutaurira kuti Dougy (MDC-T secretary general Douglas Mwonzora) haachakudei. Takavaudza ava. Iwe Chibaya chiuya kuno kuZanu PF (We have told you before that Mwonzora no longer wants you. Chibaya, you are welcome to join Zanu PF.”
Chibaya appeared to be one of the two expelled MPs who attended sitting on Tuesday with the rest conspicuous by their absence.
Announcing the recall, Speaker Jacob Mudenda said the expelled legislators had since ceased to be MPs.
“Parliament was notified by Movement for Democratic Change-Tsvangirai (MDC-T) that the following members had ceased to be members of the MDC-T party and therefore were no longer representing the interests of the party in parliament with effect from 23 June, 2020.
Added Mudenda, “Section 129 (1) (k) of the Constitution provides that, ‘The seat of the 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 the parliament and the political party concerned, by a written notice to the Speaker or to the President of the Senate as the case maybe has declared that the member has ceased to belong to it.’
“Pursuant to the above, l do hereby inform the august house that vacancies have arisen in the constituencies stated above by the operation of the law.”
Mudenda said President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) will be notified of the existence of the vacancies in line with the Electoral Act.
The expulsion of MPs brings to 13, the number of sitting legislators who have been expelled at the behest of the MDC-T since the shock turn of events which saw Nelson Chamisa’s leadership of the main opposition declared illegal by the courts.
Last month, MDC-T recalled Charlton Hwende, Prosper Mutseyami, Thabitha Khumalo and Lilian Timveous.