Today is D-day for Speaker of Parliament and Movement for Democratic Change chairman Lovemore Moyo following the Supreme Court ruling on 10 March that his election in August 2008 was null and void. A new Speaker should be elected before Parliament can conduct any business.
It is not clear how many candidates will contest but Moyo seems to have no choice but to contest following a ruling by the clerk of Parliament that Moyo cannot take up his Matobo North seat which he won during the March 2008 elections.
The election of Moyo was nullified after Tsholotsho MP Jonathan Moyo, who won as an independent candidate, and three MPs from the smaller faction of the Movement for Democratic Change, Moses Mzila Ndlovu, Patrick Dube and Siyabonga Ncube challenged the election saying the ballot was not secret as some MDC legislators from Morgan Tsvangirai faction had shown their open ballots to their colleagues.
Lovemore Moyo was contesting against Paul Themba Nyathi of the smaller MDC.
Reports at the time said that under the power sharing agreement it had been agreed that Robert Mugabe of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front should become President, Morgan Tsvangirai Prime Minister, Arthur Mutambara Deputy Prime Minister but his party should also take on the powerful post of Speaker of Parliament.
ZANU-PF did not, therefore, field a candidate for the Speaker’s post.
Sources said trouble arose after the Mutambara faction fielded Paul Themba Nyathi instead of Gibson Sibanda who had been a close ally of Tsvangirai from their trade union days dating back to the late 1980s. The Mutambara faction argued that they had fielded Nyathi because of the poor health of Sibanda, who has since died.
Tsvangirai did not accept this and instead fielded his party’s own candidate, Lovemore Moyo. Nyathi could easily have won as Tsvangirai’s party had 100 seats, ZANU-PF 99, Mutambara 10 with Moyo as an independent, but Mutambara’s legislators ditched their own candidate in protest claiming that their leadership had entered into a secret pact with ZANU-PF.
Representation in the house has barely changed. ZANU-PF and MDC-T now have 96 seats each with the smaller MDC having eight seats. ZANU-PF which is battling to control Zimbabwe politics once again could easily field a candidate this time.