New by-elections on the cards

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The Zanu PF politburo’s decision to expel five sitting MPs on Thursday is set to trigger a new wave of by-elections amid speculation that the party leadership will soon write to Parliament seeking to recall those fired in line with Section 129(1)(k) of the Constitution.

BY PAIDAMOYO MUZULU

Political commentator and Crisis Coalition in Zimbabwe director MacDonald Lewanika said the expulsions will lead to by-elections.

“Zanu PF wants to keep the country in a perpetual election mode and its clear that we will have by-elections in the constituencies soon,” Lewanika said.

Section 129(1)(k) reads: “The seat of an MP becomes vacant 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 it.”

The expelled MPs are Ray Kaukonde (Marondera Central), Kudakwashe Bhasikiti (Mwenezi East) and David Butau (Mbire). Mavhaire is a Senator in Masvingo, while Olivia Muchena is a Senator in Mashonaland East and the two will be replaced in the Upper House by candidates selected by Zanu PF. They were expelled for allegedly fanning factionalism and being part to the Joice Mujuru camp that was accused of plotting to topple party leader President Robert Mugabe at last year’s Zanu PF congress.

Zanu PF secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo yesterday could neither deny nor confirm the recall of the five from Parliament following their expulsion from the party.

“I have no idea about the recalls, but you can speak to the secretary for information Simon Khaya Moyo,” Chombo said.

Khaya Moyo was not immediately available for comment as his mobile phone was on voice-mail.

Early this year Zanu PF recalled former Headlands MP Didymus Mutasa and Temba Mliswa (Hurungwe West) from Parliament following their expulsion from the party on near-similar allegations.

The recalls resulted in the calling of by-elections on June 10.

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