Ncube who once declared he would never boycott an election is doing just that

The MDC-N party, led by Professor Welshman Ncube, who once infamously declared that he would never boycott an election "even for a toilet" has warned that it will deal decisively with its members of parliament who defy a directive to abstain from the election of speaker of the parliament of Zimbabwe.

The seat fell vacant after the Supreme Court nullified the election of MDC-T national chairman Lovemore Moyo to the speaker’s post.

No date has yet been set for the election following the adjournment of the proceedings by the clerk of parliament, Austin Zvoma, last week.

Parliamentarians were expected to choose Moyo’s replacement on Tuesday, but the election was called off by Zvoma after the legislators turned "rowdy" in the house. They reportedly sang and chanted slogans of their respective parties, turning the house into a circus.

The MDC-T party says it will retain Moyo as its candidate, while Zanu-PF has picked former Zimbabwe ambassador to South Africa Simon Khaya Moyo as its candidate.

The two Moyos hail from Matabeleland South, in the south of Zimbabwe.

Speaking at a public forum arranged by civic society organisation, Bulawayo Agenda, MDC spokesman Nhlanhla Dube said the party would "deal decisively" with "rogue" elements who defy the standing directive.

"There is a rubicon that has been set by the party for all its members of parliament to adhere to. The rubicon simply states that all party MPs should abstain from casting their votes for the speaker’s post," said Dube.

"If any member of the party decides to go against that rubicon, the party has measures that it will take to decisively deal with them."

There are fears that the MDC party could expel those members who defy the directive.  

Three of the party’s former legislators – Abednico Bhebhe, Norman Mabhena and Njabuliso Mguni – were expelled for having defied the party’s directives.

The three are seeking the nullification of their expulsions from parliament and immediate reinstatement through the courts.

Dube also revealed that Zanu-PF officials had approached his party seeking its support for its candidate, Simon Khaya Moyo.

However, Dube said, his party had turned down the request "on moral grounds".

The party has for long been suspected of being an ally of President Robert Mugabe’s party.

It has not been an easy tag to shed, especially given the utterances of the former leader of the party, Professor Arthur Mutambara, who has on many occasions sung the praises of Mugabe and his party.

"We have been, for long, viewed as an ally of President Mugabe and his party. So many accusations have flown across the political divide about our allegiance and alleged bed-hopping with Zanu-PF," Dube said.

"We have made it clear we do not belong to anybody but to the people of Zimbabwe. This stance that we have taken as a party is a clear message to all that we do not belong to anybody," he said.

He also revealed that the MDC-T formation had yet to approach his party for support of Moyo’s candidature.

He accused the Morgan Tsvangirai formation of wanting to use money to lure his party’s legislators to vote for Lovemore Moyo.

"We have seen in the past the dishing out of holiday packages and cash to our MPs so that they will vote in a particular fashion.

"We are aware of these tactics again this time around. As I have said, we are going to deal decisively with any of our MPs who accept the money and goodies in return for defiance of our party’s position on the election of the next speaker of parliament," Dube said.