Moyo voted Zimbabwe parliament speaker

HARARE – An ally of Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was re-elected Speaker of Parliament on Tuesday in a bitter political battle against President Robert Mugabe's party months ahead of a possible general election.\r\n

He won 105 votes against Khaya Moyo’s 93.

The result confirms MPs from the smaller MDC formation kept their promise to support the MDC-T candidate.

The result also exposed at least four Zanu PF MPs cast their votes in favour of the MDC-T candidate.
Khaya Moyo was nominated by Zvishavane-Runde MP Larry Mavima and seconded by Mhondoro-Ngezi MP Bright Matonga, while Lovemore Moyo was nominated by the Minister of Finance, Tendai Biti, and seconded by Kambuzuma MP Willias Madzimure.

Polling agents for Zanu PF were their Chief Whip Joram Gumbo and Chivi Central MP Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana, while the MDC-T was represented by Chief Whip Innocent Gonese and Nyanga North MP Douglas Mwonzora.

Announcing the results of the secret ballot which lasted for one-and-a-half hours, Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma said 199 MPs out of a total of 203 MPs eligible to vote cast their votes.

“Four MPs were not present and in the process, after everyone present voted, we accounted – together with election agents – for 199 ballot papers,” said Zvoma.

MPs who could not make it to the polls included MDC Chief Whip Edward Mkhosi, Neddie Masukume (Zanu PF MP for Mwenezi West who is said to be in hospital), Elton Mangoma (MDC-T), the Minister of Energy and Power Development who is in remand prison, and Chipinge South MP Meki Makuyana (MDC-T).

Zvoma said the final result signed by all election agents indicated that out of 199 votes, 198 were valid, one was rejected, nine disqualified and nine spoilt.

The election of Lovemore Moyo as Speaker of the House of Assembly was received with singing and dancing by MDC-T MPs. 

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Vice Presidents John Landa Nkomo and Joice Mujuru were present.

Moyo was immediately sworn in by Zvoma and will, at a date yet to be announced, present himself and his deputy, Nomalanga Khumalo, to President Robert Mugabe for official swearing-in at State House.

Moyo lost the Speakership two weeks ago, after the Supreme Court ruled his election in 2008 was flawed.

In his acceptance speech, Moyo said it was an honour to reclaim the seat.

“I attribute this to progressive MPs across the political divide. I want to thank all those who have showed confidence in me,” he said.

“I want to thank my party and fellow MPs for the support during the dark days of last week,” he said.
MDC-T secretary-general Biti said “good had prevailed over evil”.

“What happened today is confirmation of a number of undisputable truths. Evil will never triumph over good,” he said.

Biti said his party won despite the arrests of some of his party’s MPs and alleged attempts to bribe some of them.

He said the day March 29, was significant as it was the day MDC-T leader Tsvangirai won the March 29, 2008 presidential election.

“This showed the unity of the MDC-T and rubbished the myths of divisions in the party. We planned for this victory and we are excellent in execution. No bullet, no Durawall, no junta can stop an idea whose hour has come,” he said.

Zanu PF political commissar Webster Shamu, who is also the Minister of Media, Information and Publicity, conceded defeat and expressed hope his party would do better next time.

“The outcome underscored the point that President (Robert) Mugabe is not a dictator but believes in democracy. The result consolidates what the people fought for,” he said.

Poll outcome

Total eligible voters: 203

Total present: 199 (93 Zanu-PF, 93 MDC-T, 7 MDC)

L Moyo (MDC-T): 105

SK Moyo (Zanu-PF): 93

Spoilt ballots: 1


E Mangoma – MDC-T (in police custody)

C Muguti – MDC-T (convicted of criminal offence, currently appealing)

N Masukume – Zanu-PF (hospitalised)

C Sindi – Zanu-PF (could not make it to Harare)