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Who will wear the Honourable cap – as more vacancies spring up in Parliament

By Buhle Tshavango
Government recently freezed the hiring of state workers, but in our August house more vacancies keep coming up.
The recalling of a number of members of Parliament by the ruling party has led to more by-elections having to be done to fill in the vacant spots.
To date empty seats include:

  • Bikita West constituency which became vacant following the incarceration of former MP Munyaradzi Kereke over rape charges;
  • Norton constituency seat is now vacant over the removal of Christopher Mutsvangwa from Parliament after his expulsion from ZANU PF.
  • Chimanimani West constituency is also vacant after the dismissal of Engineer Munacho Mutezo from his party which automatically becomes dismissal from representing the party in Parliament. Engineer Mutezo was expelled after defecting to Zimbabwe People First party.

In terms of section 129 (k) of the Constitution a Member of Parliament loses his/her seat after he/she ceases to belong to a political party where he/she was a member of.
“Section 129 Tenure of seat of Member of Parliament

  • The seat of a Member of Parliament becomes vacant

(k) 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
Results of primary elections conducted by the ruling party over the weekend confirmed Ronald Chindedza to be the sole candidate for ZANU-PF during the by-elections for Norton. Chindedza garnered over 800 votes a move which upset some who felt the elections were rigged considering Chindedza is not known in Norton.
Chindedza will now face former Hurungwe West MP and Youth Advocacy for Reform and Democracy (YARD) leader Temba Mliswa who is also competing for MP as an independent candidate.
The by-election to determine who will be the MP for Norton has been slated for October 22 2016.
Meanwhile in Bikita, Beauty Chabaya won the ZANU-PF primary elections becoming its candidate for the post of MP. Chabaya garnered more than a thousand votes beating popular gospel musician and politician Elias Musakwa and three other candidates.
Cde Beauty Chabaya who is also the women’s league provincial executive member will  now compete against Madock Chivasa of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) whilst other parties are yet to confirm their candidates for the Bikita west by-election.
MDC –T has since been boycotting elections citing need for electoral reforms.
In Chimanimani west a legislator is yet to be appointed with parties like ZANU-PF, National Constitutional Assembly already gearing up their candidates.

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