Gibson Sibanda suffers set-back in Chamber

Harare — Mr Gibson Sibanda's status has once again come under the spotlight with his presence in the House of Assembly chamber at the official opening of the Second Session of the Seventh Parliament being described as "un-procedural".

The MDC deputy president lost his Senate non-constituency seat and ministerial position in June after he failed to secure a seat within the three months stipulated by the Constitution.

However, MDC secretary-general Professor Welshman Ncube countered this, saying Mr Sibanda was entitled to attend the official opening just like anyone else.

On his part, Mr Sibanda yesterday said his status would be regularised soon and he intended to contest for a seat in his home province of Matabeleland South.

He did not say which seat he would contest though it will most likely be one of those that fell vacant following the expulsion of three MDC legislators from Parliament for indiscipline by their party.

Mr Sibanda also referred to himself as a minister in yesterday’s interview.

Mr Zvoma said: "He (Mr Sibanda) was not supposed to be in the chamber. Rules are that only members can come into chamber or ministers who are yet to secure seats (within the three-month window period). It was done out of ignorance and we are going to communicate with them (MDC)."

Prof Ncube responded to this saying: "There was nothing wrong with him being in the chamber. Anyone can attend during official opening of Parliament."

On his part, Mr Sibanda said he had been "invited" into the chamber without elaborating on the nature of the invitation.

"I had just been invited for the opening as minister. We are just waiting for the appointment of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission so that everything will be regularised. I intend to contest in Matabeleland South once everything is regularised," said Mr Sibanda.

MDC made spirited efforts to create a constituency for him within the stipulated timeframe when it nominated one of its legislators for an ambassadorial appointment.

However, the nominee Mr Siyabonga Ncube, House of Assembly legislator for Insiza, turned down the offer and was replaced by Mrs Trudy Stevenson. The Herald