Fidelis Munyoro Assistant News Editor
Dr Munyaradzi Kereke will remain the National Assembly Member for Bikita West after lawyers representing parties in the case in which he is challenging his expulsion from Parliament reached an out-of-court settlement, The Herald has learnt.The legislator had sued Zanu-PF at the Constitutional Court for seeking his expulsion from Parliament on the basis that he had been fired from the party and could not purport to represent it in the August House.
The lawsuit came after the National Assembly Speaker advised Dr Kereke that he had ceased to be the legislator for Bikita West after Zanu-PF secretary for administration Cde Dydmus Mutasa wrote to Parliament advising of Dr Kereke’s expulsion from the party.
Dr Kereke challenged his expulsion from Parliament arguing that he had ceased to be a Zanu-PF member by the time he was elected on July 31.
However, The Herald learnt yesterday that lawyers representing Dr Kereke and Zanu-PF, National Assembly Speaker and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission cited as respondents, last week reached an out-of-court settlement allowing Dr Kereke to remain the legislator for Bikita West.
The deed of settlement, according to the source close to the matter, is now before Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku for endorsement.
This means that when the matter is brought for hearing tomorrow, Dr Kereke’s lawyer Advocate Lewis Uriri will ask the court to make the settlement an order of the court.
“They have reached an out of court settlement,” said the source. “They have agreed that Dr Kereke remains a member of National Assembly for Bikita West Constituency. They have already signed an order by consent.”
Adv Uriri confirmed yesterday that the matter had been settled. Until the Chief Justice signs the consent order Dr Kereke remains expelled from Parliament.
Last week, Chief Justice Chidyausiku ruled that Dr Kereke’s case should be heard on an urgent basis and set the hearing for tomorrow.
Dr Kereke won the election to represent Bikita West in Parliament after beating Cde Elias Musakwa (Zanu-PF) and Mr Heya Shoko (MDC-T) after getting the nod to stand on Zanu-PF’s ticket from the party’s Masvingo provincial committee.
Some elements in the revolutionary party, however, disowned him, saying they recognised Cde Musakwa as the official candidate.
The case of Dr Kereke saw Zanu-PF’s Masvingo provincial chairman Cde Lovemore Matuke being suspended for defying a directive not to sign Dr Kereke’s papers at the Nomination Court to contest the Bikita West National Assembly seat on the party’s ticket for the July 31 harmonised elections.
In his challenge, Dr Kereke said the section which both Zanu-PF and the Speaker relied on to expel him from Parliament did not apply to his situation.
He said he ceased to be a member of Zanu-PF on July 10, as evidenced by a letter written to him by Cde Mutasa.