Mutambara Makes Promise to Find Sibanda a Seat – Tsvangirai

Sibanda’s stay as minister expired on 19 May 2009 as the Zimbabwean constitution provides that a cabinet post can only be held by a member of parliament and if the appointed minister is not an MP, a parliamentary seat must be found within three months.

Sibanda, the Minister of State in the Deputy Prime Ministers Office who doubles up as the MDC-M Deputy President, risks forfeiting his ministerial post after his party exhausted its allocations when it used up its non-constituency seats.

The two senatorial seats were given to party secretary Welshman Ncube and Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, the deputy secretary general, to enable them to assume ministerial positions.

A parliamentary seat was given to Deputy Prime Mutambara, leaving Sibanda, appointed a Minister in Mutambara’s Office, in a quandary.

But Prime Minister Tsvangirai told journalists at a press conference in Harare on Thursday that Mutambara had assured the other two principals that the MDC-M would find Sibanda a seat.

“We have been assured by Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara that they will find Minister Sibanda a seat but I do not know where,” said Tsvangirai.

Mutambara was not available for comment.

There are fears that Mutambara, who has suspended eight party officials flatly opposed to his leadership, could sacrifice one of the legislators facing disciplinary action over allegations of misconduct.

Of the eight officials suspended by Mutambara and in line for disciplinary action, several are legislators and include Abednico Bhebhe (Nkayi South), Zinti Mkandla (Gwanda), Maxwell Dube (Tsholotsho North), Sijabuliso Mguni (Lupane North) and Norman Mpofu.