Home » Governance » We Had No Hand in MPs’ Dismissal – Zanu-PF

Zanu-PF has dismissed accusations by MDC Renewal leader Mr Tendai Biti that the revolutionary party worked with MDC-T to ensure that 21 legislators aligned to his team were expelled from Parliament.

The ruling party’s secretary for Information and Publicity Cde Simon Khaya Moyo said there was no way the revolutionary party could work with reactionary forces in MDC-T. “If he (Biti) is honest, he should have the courage to mention them (the Zanu-PF officials he said were working with the MDC-T),” he said. “They are people who are in a confused state. They don’t know the direction they are facing. We are a revolutionary party and we don’t get into those things they are mentioning. We don’t connive with reactionaries. The issue of conniving is too far-fetched. They can continue whistling in the graveyard and nobody will hear them. It is a sign of clear desperation and if they say they are renewing themselves, then I am afraid they will never renew. “We are not involved in that at all and we will only follow procedures as needed by Parliament and in their case procedures were followed and they should be saying Parliament is a democratic institution.” Cde Khaya Moyo said there was no need for Zanu-PF to connive with the MDC when the procedures were clear.

“Rules need no connivance, they are straight forward,” he said. “Biti should know that he is a lawyer. We are going to go ahead with preparations for the by-elections whenever they come and they all will not win anything because they have nothing to offer.” Mr Biti speaking at a press conference on Wednesday said it would challenge the expulsion of the 21 legislators at the Constitutional Court and accused the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC-T and Zanu-PF of instigating their dismissal.

The Speaker of the National Assembly Aocate Jacob Mudenda and Senate president Cde Edna Madzongwe expelled 17 and four members, respectively from the two houses under Section 129 (1) (k), after the 21 joined a new political outfit, the United Movement for Democratic Change (UMDC).

“We are aware of the meetings that have taken place between our erstwhile colleagues and Zanu-PF, we are aware the seats they themselves (MDC-T) have said they will not contest,” said Mr Biti.

“The decision that took place yesterday (Tuesday) is illegal and in this regard our lawyers and their various teams are busy drafting their applications to the Constitutional Court to set aside the expulsions that took place yesterday (Tuesday),” Mr Biti said, without mentioning names of the Zanu-PF and MDC-T officials he accused of meeting to plot against his faction. He claimed the Constitution did not provide for wholesale recall of parliamentarians as happened on Tuesday, adding the move was unprecedented in any country that followed the Westminster Parliamentary system. “We make the point that Section 129 (1) (k) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe is not a general recall clause, but is a clause that only pertains to a situation where a member who ceases to be a member of a political party he belonged to at the time he was elected voluntarily by the political party concerned has written to the Speaker,” he said.

“So, it is a floor crossing provision and not a general right of recall.

“We do not have a general right of recall in our Constitution and one of the orders we will be seeking is a declarator to that effect in the Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe.”

Section 129 (1) (k) states that a seat of a Member of Parliament becomes vacant if the member has ceased to belong to the political party of which he or she was a member when elected to Parliament and the political party concerned, by written notice to the Speaker or the president of the Senate, as the case may be, has declared that the member has ceased to belong to it.

“The Speaker could not have made that decision in the absence of a court order,” said Mr Biti. “What is very clear is that Zanu-PF has gone to the political drawing board and has decided to take a conscious decision to fight our political party and they have made a decision that they will work with Morgan Tsvangirai and his team and we have accepted that political reality.”

MDC-T spokesperson Mr Obert Gutu rubbished Mr Biti’s claims saying: “I respect Tendai Biti as a brother and learned friend whom I have known for more than 25 years. I am absolutely bamboozled when he starts accusing me and my party of meeting with Zanu-PF in order to plot their recall from Parliament.”

Source : The Herald