Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Parliament yesterday expelled three zanu-pf Members of Parliament after the revolutionary party wrote to the August House saying the trio had ceased to represent its interests.
Messrs Ray Kaukonde (Marondera Central), Kudakwashe Bhasikiti (Mwenezi East) and David Butau (Mbire) lost their seats yesterday after zanu-pf wrote to the Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda notifying him that the trio no longer represented its interests as envisaged by Section 129 of the Constitution.
The three were part of seven members expelled from zanu-pf after they were linked to the putschist cabal led by former Vice President Dr Joice Mujuru that sought to topple President Mugabe ahead of the 6th National People’s Congress last December.
The other four are Dr Olivia Muchena, Dzikamai Mavhaire, Claudious Makova and Kudakwashe Gope. Dr Muchena and Mavhaire are Senators and an announcement on their fate was still to be made.
Announcing the expulsion, acting Speaker of the National Assembly Cde Melody Dziva, who was standing in for Adv Mudenda, said Parliament had received notification from zanu-pf yesterday that the trio had ceased to belong to it.
“With regards to the same matter, I must also notify this House that I have received an urgent chamber application filed at the High Court by Hon Bhasikiti and Hon Butau seeking to bar the Speaker from declaring the seat vacant in terms of Section 129 (1)(k) of the Constitution, but that cannot stop the Speaker from exercising his duty in terms of the Constitution as he is not bound by a court application filed as the order sought has not yet been granted,” said Cde Dziva while delivering the ruling on behalf of Adv Mudenda.
“It is vital that at this point I mention that the notification to the Speaker by the party concerned that a member has ceased to represent its interests in the National Assembly and Parliament is all that is required at law to create a vacancy and the Speaker to declare the seat vacant.”
She said the duty of the Speaker was explained by the Supreme Court in the case of Abednico Bhebhe and others versus the National Disciplinary Committee of the MDC in 2009, where Justice Cheda said upon receipt of notification, Parliament’s presiding officer was bound to declare the seat vacant.
“Hon Members to that extent the position of the Constitution is unambiguous regarding the declaration of a vacant seat. Consequently, the vacancies have arisen in Marondera Central, Mwenezi East and Mbire by operation of the law,” she said.
Cde Bhasikiti who was sitting in the chamber right at the front row reserved for Cabinet ministers listened to the ruling while fidgeting with his mobile phone.
Soon after the ruling was made, he rose and bowed as per procedure before walking out. Messrs Kaukonde and Butau were not in the chamber.
MDC-T MPs could be heard shouting “People First” in reference to a debate Cde Bhasikiti made on Tuesday in which he continuously used the phrase that was eventually seen as a way of propping up their pending political party.
The trio joins Messrs Temba Mliswa and Didymus Mutasa who were similarly expelled from Parliament after being fired from zanu-pf alongside Rugare Gumbo and Jabulani Sibanda.