(Last Updated on February 3, 2016 by Editor)
ZIMBABWE – Two Zanu-PF Members of Parliament who won recent by-elections following the death and expulsion of their predecessors, were sworn-in yesterday.
Clerk of Parliament Mr Kennedy Chokuda swore-in the two legislators, Cde Killian Sibanda in the National Assembly and Cde Clemence Makwarimba in the Senate.
Cde Sibanda replaced the late MDC-T legislator Mr Thamsanqa Mahlangu, who passed on in October last year, while Cde Makwarimba replaced Mr Dzikamai Mavhaire, who was expelled by the revolutionary party in May last year.
National Assembly Speaker Advocate Jacob Mudenda also announced the recalling of Zanu-PF MP for Guruve South Mr Chriswell Mutematsaka from Parliament.
He said this was in line with Section 129 (1) (k) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
“The necessary administrative measures have been taken to inform His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of the existence of the vacancy in line with Section 39 (1) of the Electoral Act Chapter 2 (13) as amended,” said Adv Mudenda.
This prompted MDC-T legislator for Kuwadzana Mr Nelson Chamisa to raise a point of order imploring Parliament to protect MPs from recalls by their parties.
He said the Constitution empowered Parliament’s Standing Rules and Orders Committee to devise ways of protecting elected MPs from being unjustifiably recalled from Parliament.
Mr Chamisa argued that the section on the recall of MPs was never intended to harass legislators.
“This is a matter of privilege in the context of a Member of Parliament who is seated there,” he said. “I can tell you that most of our MPs right now are no longer able to transact the business that they were elected to do because they are so afraid. They tell us that nicodemously and in secret.”
Mr Chamisa argued that the recalls resulted in by-elections that gobbled a lot of money, while at the same time bringing instability in Parliament.
Adv Mudenda said Parliament did not have authority to stop political parties from recalling their MPs.
“So, I would urge Honourable Chamisa to secretly and nicodemously talk to his party to hold the galloping of these terminations of office by the party and, perhaps he could also influence other parties to act in a similar manner,” he said.
“The reasons given by Honourable Chamisa are credible, but unfortunately, they are directed to a wrong platform, as it were. But I accept the reasons so given.
“What can happen if you are not happy with Section 129 (1) (k), you then have to follow the due process of amending that section so that there is a comfort zone for all those who may be affected in future.”
Legislators also said there was need for Government to practise fiscal prudence by ensuring that Treasury did not spend money on things that did not benefit the citizens.
The remarks were made as legislators contributed to a motion on the President’s last address in 2015.