ZIMBABWE – Parliament yesterday ejected Bulawayo Senator Matson Hlalo from the Upper House following a decision by the MDC-T to recall the outspoken legislator from the August House.
The recalling of Sen Hlalo is a culmination of factionalism that has dogged the opposition party pitting MDC-T leader, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai and national executive member Mr Nelson Chamisa.
Acting Senate President Charles Tawengwa, made the announcement yesterday.
“I wish to inform the Senate that on March 3, 2016, I was notified by the MDC-T party, that Mr Matson Hlalo has ceased to be a member of the party. Accordingly Section 129 (k) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe applies,” said Sen Tawengwa while standing in for Senate President Edna Madzongwe.
“It provides that a seat of a Member of Parliament becomes vacant if the member has ceased to belong to the political party of which he/she was a member when elected to Parliament and the political party concerned, by written notice to the Speaker or the President of the Senate as the case may be has declared that the member has ceased to belong to it. The necessary administrative measures would be taken to inform His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission of the existence of the vacancy in line with Section 39 (1) of the Electoral Act, (Chapter213) as amended.”
Sen Hlalo who was within Parliament building did not attend the sitting ostensibly after receiving the news of his pending expulsion through grapevine.
The tiff between Mr Tsvangirai and Mr Hlalo arose after the latter took the opposition party to the High Court challenging the decision to recognise Mr Gift Banda as Bulawayo provincial chairperson.
This was after the elections between Mr Banda and Mr Hlalo to fill in the provincial chairmanship post was marred by widespread intra-political violence along factional line as party deputy president, Ms Thokozani Khupe fought in Mr Banda’s corner.
The expulsion comes after a resolution by the MDC-T’s national council last October to sack Hlalo over alleged continuous defiance of a directive by the same body that members must not take the party to court without exhausting internal processes.
This was after Hlalo approached the courts in 2014 to nullify the election of Mr Banda who is also Bulawayo deputy mayor as the party’s provincial chairperson during a chaotic provincial congress.
The letter to Parliament was written by party secretary general, Mr Douglas Mwonzora, after Mr Hlalo failed to respond to justify why he should not be fired.
The expulsion of Hlalo comes a month after Mr Tsvangirai visited Bulawayo structures and was reportedly booed in one of his engagements.