THE 21 MDC Renewal Team MPs expelled from Parliament got a reprieve yesterday when Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku ruled that their Constitutional Court application challenging their dismissal from the august House was urgent.
Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda recently declared the 21 seats vacant after the MDC-T advised Parliament that the MPs were no longer its members as they had crossed the floor and formed the MDC Renewal Team.
The party’s spokesperson Jacob Mafume yesterday confirmed that the matter had been ruled as urgent.
“(Justice) Chidyausiku ruled that the case of our Renewal MPs vs the Speaker of Parliament be heard on an urgent basis. The matter will be concluded by the 14th of April before the nomination court sits on the 16th,” Mafume said.
The MPs were represented by Lovemore Madhuku, Tendai Biti and Mafume in the chamber hearing.
The lawyers argued that Mudenda was at fault when he announced that the MPs had been expelled from both Houses of Parliament.
The fired legislators are Harare East MP Tendai Biti, Kambuzuma MP Willias Madzimure, Kuwadzana East MP Lucia Matibenga, Proportional Representation MP Evelyn Masaiti Muzungu, Glen View South MP Paul Madzore, Luveve MP Reggie Moyo, Dzivarasekwa MP Solomon Madzore, Pelandaba-Mpopoma MP Bekithemba Nyathi, Highfield West MP Moses Manyengavana and Pumula MP Albert Mhlanga.
The list also includes Lobengula MP Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, Tsholotsho North MP Roseline Nkomo, Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya, Proportional Representation MP Judith Muzhavazhe, Makokoba MP Gorden Moyo, Proportional Representation MP Gladys Mathe and Dangamvura-Chikanga MP Arnold Tsunga.
Four former MDC-T senators namely Patrick Chitaka (Manicaland), Sekai Holland, Rorana Muchihwa (Harare Metropolitan) and Watchy Sibanda (Matabeleland South) were also expelled.
If the court rules in favour of the MPs, then President Robert Mugabe’s proclamation for by-elections in the 14 constituencies on June 10 2015 will be set aside.