HomeNewsKereke seat vacant: MDC-T

Kereke seat vacant: MDC-T

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BIKITA West MP Munyaradzi Kereke’s National Assembly seat hangs in the balance after the main opposition MDC-T yesterday raised a point of order in the House saying it had become vacant after he rejoined Zanu PF.

by VENERANDA LANGA

MDC-T chief whip Innocent Gonese said Kereke, who won the seat in 2013 as an independent candidate, was “now a stranger in the House” because as per the provisions of section 129 (11) of the Constitution the seat must be declared vacant after he crossed over to Zanu PF this week.

Kereke contested as an independent candidate after Zanu PF had fielded Elias Musakwa (believed to be in former Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s faction) and he went on to win the seat in 2013.

“In terms of section 129 of the Constitution, paragraph 11, it is stated clearly and unambiguously how the tenure of a seat for an MP can become vacant. I believe there is an MP who is now a stranger in this House because the Constitution is clear that if an MP was not representing a political party when he/she was elected to Parliament, when they later choose to belong to a political party, then the seat becomes vacant,” Gonese said.

“Kereke went to the Constitutional Court at the time he was elected and said he had ceased to be a member of Zanu PF and he won as an independent. Mr Speaker, it has become public record that Kereke has rejoined Zanu PF, and therefore in terms of the law, his seat is now vacant.”

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, who is also Zanu PF secretary for legal affairs, tried to defend Kereke’s seat in the House and was given the podium by Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda to explain the legality of Kereke’s occupancy of the seat.

But Kuwadzana MP Nelson Chamisa (MDC-T) said they would not allow Chinamasa to defend Kereke as it was not a Zanu PF Parliament.

Mudenda acceded to the arguments by the opposition promising to interrogate the matter and then make a ruling later.

Meanwhile, Chamisa’s notice of motion which he wanted to introduce relating to complaints by MPs over the way they were allegedly ill-treated by Parliament security personnel was thwarted by the Speaker.

MPs and other members of the public including journalists have on several occasions complained of being treated unprofessionally by Parliament security.

However, Mudenda said for now he would suspend introduction of the motion as security searches had to be adhered to by every visitor including MPs.

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