FORMER MDC-T deputy president Thokozani Khupe’s political star suffered another blow yesterday after her rival and party leader Nelson Chamisa successfully recalled her from Parliament.
By Veneranda Langa
Before the latest development, Khupe was MDC-T Bulawayo proportional representation legislator and leader of the opposition in the House, a post which carried several privileges, among them access to State security services.
Her expulsion means Chamisa takes over as leader of the opposition in the National Assembly.
The former MDC-T deputy president was not present when acting Speaker of the National Assembly, Reuben Marumahoko, announced her recall from Parliament.
Marumahoko said the MDC-T had written to the Speaker in terms of section 129(1)(k) of the Constitution, informing the House that Khupe was no longer a member of the opposition party.
“Section 129(1)(k) of the constitution provides that a seat of an MP becomes vacant if the MP has ceased to belong to the political party of which he or she was MP when elected in Parliament, and the party concerned by written notice to the Speaker or President of Senate has declared that the MP has ceased to belong to the party,” he said.
“A proportional representation vacancy has, therefore, arisen in Bulawayo Metropolitan and necessary administrative measures will be taken to inform the President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission in terms of section 39(I) of the Electoral Act as amended.”
Khupe was recently fired from the MDC-T by Chamisa after she refused to recognise his nomination as substantive party leader.
Other legislators who are in Khupe’s faction, Abednico Bhebhe (Nkayi South) and Nomvula Mguni (PR) were spared the axe, but there were reports that they would also be fired later.
Meanwhile, the Electoral Amendment Bill will now be debated on May 8 after all the political parties represented in Parliament agreed that they could only do justice to the Bill after completing their respective party primary elections.
Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi told NewsDay yesterday that the debate had been postponed because one of the movers of the amendments, Priscilla Misihairabwi Mushonga (MDC), was away conducting public hearings on traditional family planning methods with the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Women Affairs.
“We thought it would be unfair to continue with the debate on the Bill when Misihairabwi-Mushonga, who moved some of the amendments, was away. All political parties have agreed that we need to do justice on the amendments to the Bill with everyone present. Even the MDC-T was conducting primary elections and most of their members were not present and so we agreed to postpone the debate to next month,” he said.
Some of the amendments that the opposition are advocating for are that the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission must play an observation role and not monitoring role during elections to enable them to point out any infractions that might take place.
Reducing their role to monitoring will weaken their powers to make recommendations.