By Daniel Chigundu
Zanu PF legislators forced the adjournment of the House sitting in a bid to block debate on the Electoral Amendment Bill as they feared being out-numbered by the opposition.
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi on Tuesday moved a motion to suspend the provision of the Standing Orders relating to automatic adjournment, private members Bills and motions taking precedence over government business to facilitate the debate and passage of the Electoral Amendment Bill.
Expectations were high that the Bill which has been deemed to be an emergency would be debated today, but Zanu PF was let down by non-availability of its legislators some of whom are participating in primary elections.
In an interview following the adjournment, MDC-T Chief Whip Innocent Gonese expressed shock and disappointment adding that the nation is waiting for the Bill as it has a bearing on the holding of the free and fair elections in the country.
“So the expectation was that today they would mobilise their members so that we do justice to the amendment Bill which the nation is waiting for, everyone is very concerned about the issue of free and fair election and this is an opportunity that we had as Parliament to deal with this particular issue, so as it stands your guess is as good as mine I don’t know what motivated this about-turn.
“The other excuse which was being given is that Honourable Priscilla Misihairabwi Mushonga who proposed some of the amendments is not around, but that is not even a valid a reason because in terms of our rules we can defer consideration of any clause and seek leave to sit again.
“So there was nothing preventing us going through amendments which we have proposed and those proposed by the minister and once we are done with those, we then defer consideration of Honourable Mushonga proposals that we can deal with later,” he said.
Zimbabwe is expected to hold general elections between July 21 and August 21 this year and President Emmerson Mnangagwa has promised free and fair elections.
MDC Alliance Presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa has also promised that his alliance will not participate in elections that will not pass the credibility test.