Mutambara fails to save Gibson Sibanda

Welshman Ncube hired professor Arthur Mutambara to lead his MDC outfit, and Gibson Sibanda who was used in that infamous "disciplinary action document" dismissing Tsvangira as MDC President should be the country’s Deputy Prime Minister in hindsight.

The fact that all ministers are supposed to hold parliamentary seats may impact on Minister Sibanda’s ministerial post.

Minister Sibanda was appointed into Cabinet in February as a Non-Constituency Senator and was supposed to secure a parliamentary seat within three months, in terms of the Constitution.

Although Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga was not available for comment, Clerk of Parliament Mr Austin Zvoma said the Constitution was categorically clear on the provision relating to circumstances that Minister Sibanda is in.

"You just need to read the Constitution, it is self explanatory. He can no longer continue attending parliamentary sessions without regularising that," said Mr Zvoma in an interview Monday.

"He could only attend parliamentary proceedings during the three-month period within which he was then supposed to secure a seat."

There had been a lot of anxiety over what the MDC formation led by Professor Mutambara would do to enable Minister Sibanda, who is its deputy president, to have a seat in Parliament.

Sources in the party said the party intended to appoint Mangwe House of Assembly Member Edward Mkhosi as Governor and Resident Minister for Matabeleland South Province to make way for Minister Sibanda.

In terms of the Global Political Agreement signed between Zanu-PF, MDC-T and MDC, when a constituency falls vacant, the party holding that seat can nominate a successor to fill the vacancy.

This is not the first time that a Non-Constituency MP has failed to get a seat within the constitutional timeframe.

In 2002, Minister Sithembiso Nyoni failed to get a parliamentary seat within the stipulated period.

She had to relinquish her ministerial post until she finally secured a parliamentary seat. (The Chronicle)