BATTLES between the ruling Zanu PF party and opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) will today spill over into Parliament when the two parties elect the Speaker for the National Assembly and President of the Senate.
CCC legislators were sworn in Harare yesterday, as their leaders embarked on a diplomatic offensive to persuade Sadc to influence fresh elections in Zimbabwe.
CCC rejected President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s victory in last month’s polls. He garnered 52,6% of the vote against CCC leader Nelson Chamisa’s 44%.
The ruling Zanu PF party won 176 seats against CCC’s 103 seats.
Although outgoing Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister Ziyambi Ziyambi was tipped to be the favourite to take up the Speaker of the National Assembly post, indications, as of last night, were that Jacob Mudenda would retain his post, deputised by Tsitsi Gezi.
Mudenda has been Speaker since 2013 when he replaced Lovemore Moyo.
The President of the Senate is likely to go back to Zanu PF women’s league boss, Mabel Chinomona, deputised by Mike Nyambuya.
Previously, Chinomona served as deputy speaker of the National Assembly from 2013 to 2018, and as MP for Mutoko North until her election as President of the Senate in 2018.
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This comes as sources said Kembo Mohadi was likely to bounce back as the country’s co-Vice President. Mohadi resigned in March 2021 following local media reports he had engaged in improper conduct. Earlier in the week, several Zanu PF sources had said Ziyambi was the favourite to take up the Speaker position.
“Ziyambi will likely be the next speaker considering the role he has been playing as President Mnangagwa’s election agent,” one source said.
“He has also been representing the party’s interests well during and after the August 23 elections so he might not be forgotten.”
On Mudenda, the sources said he still commanded a lot of respect from political parties and might retain the post.
“If we put issues of political parties and their differences aside, Mudenda is a respected politician across the political divide and might bounce back as Speaker,” the source said.
However, some CCC members, who spoke to the Independent yesterday, said their candidate was being kept a secret.
“They have their own (CCC MPs) caucus and they communicate within their WhatsApp groups and other forums, which also include party leaders,” a CCC source said.
“However, they will only be told at the last minute to protect the information like what happened during the nomination processes before the elections.”
Another CCC senior party leader indicated that they might not participate in the elections.
“Zanu PF has the majority in both houses and it will be difficult to win. However, we will have to wait and see if the leadership decides on fielding candidates,” the source said.
According to the constitution, the Speaker’s election is conducted at the first sitting of a new Parliament.
Meanwhile, political analyst and academic Ricky Mukonza said MPs were expected to facilitate the propagation of laws that will improve the lives of Zimbabweans.
“Similarly they are expected to ensure alignment of current existing laws to the constitution. Another important task for the parliamentarians is that of exercising oversight on the executive arm of government and all state organs. Parliamentarians are expected to ensure that they point out state excesses,” he said.