MDC says Kereke is now “a stranger in the house” and must be booted out of Parliament


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The chief whip of the Morgan Tsvangirai faction of the Movement for Democratic Change Innocent Gonese yesterday said that the Member of Parliament for Bikita West, Munyaradzi Kereke, must be booted out of Parliament because he had crossed the floor to rejoin the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.

Gonese said that Kereke went to the Constitutional Court to contest that he won the Bikita West seat as an independent candidate and was no longer a member of ZANU-PF when he contested the seat and won the case. But he had now rejoined the party thus making his seat vacant.

Zimbabwe’s constitutional does not allow legislators to cross the floor.

“In terms of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Section 129:(l), it is clear in terms of that provision, that the tenure of a seat of a Member of Parliament is governed by the provisions of that particular section. The section goes on in a very clear and unambiguous manner, to state that the seat of a Member of Parliament shall become vacant in the circumstances outlined in terms of the various provisions,” Gonese said.

“The one I am going to zero in on is L which applies to a member who I believe is now a stranger in this august House. In terms of that section, it is clear that if the member, not having been a member of a political party when he or she was elected to Parliament becomes a member of a political party, then the seat automatically becomes vacant.”

Speaker Jacob Mudenda asked the House to be given time to “interrogate” the issue raised by Gonese.

 

Q & A

GONESE: Mine is not a notice of motion. I rise on a point of order Mr. Speaker. In terms of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Section 129:(l), it is clear in terms of that provision, that the tenure of a seat of a Member of Parliament is governed by the provisions of that particular section. The section goes on in a very clear and unambiguous manner, to state that the seat of a Member of Parliament shall become vacant in the circumstances outlined in terms of the various provisions. The one I am going to zero in on is L which applies to a member who I believe is now a stranger in this august House. In terms of that section, it is clear that if the member, not having been a member of a political party when he or she was elected to Parliament becomes a member of a political party, then the seat automatically becomes vacant.

It is on public record that Hon. Dr. Munyaradzi Kereke went to the Constitutional Court and among other things inter alia, it was submitted that at the time when he was elected, had ceased being a member of ZANU PF. It was on that basis that the Constitutional Court upheld his application and his seat was declared not to be vacant because ZANU PF could not purport to expel him or relieve him from Parliament because he had ceased to be a member of that party. At that time, Elias Musakwa was the duly elected candidate of ZANU PF – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – It is also on public record that Dr. Kereke has now been accepted back in ZANU PF and has been introduced. As such his seat in terms of the operation of the law is now vacant – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- It is on public record also that he has been accepted as a member of ZANU PF but one cannot eat their cake and still have it. – HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]

SPEAKER: Order, order, Chief Whips, please sit down. Thank you for responding to my order. There is no need to be excited. Hon. Gonese has made an observation and it is within his right to make an observation. It is up to the Chair then, to so direct the way forward. In this hon. House, we have the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development, who is also the legal authority for the party in question, ZANU PF. I would request him to clarify issues – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (MR. CHINAMASA) Thank you Mr. Speaker…

SPEAKER: Hon. Chimanikire and Hon. Kereke do not be provocative please, allow the Minister to speak.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (MR. CHINAMASA): Thank you Mr. Speaker. I rise to respond to the honourable member as a ZANU PF Government Minister. The response is that …. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

SPEAKER: Order, order hon. members!

CHAMISA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My point of order is very simple. This is the Parliament of Zimbabwe. Hon. Chinamasa is rising on his feet on behalf of ZANU PF. This matter is a constitutional matter beyond ZANU PF. We cannot accept addressing of a partisan platform; we cannot accept the issue of party here, addressing matters as if it is a ZANU PF platform. This is the Parliament of Zimbabwe, if he wants to address ZANU PF he must to go to ZANU PF Headquarters –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

SPEAKER: Order, order! In view of the fact that there is a heated argument, will the august House allow the Speaker to interrogate the point of order raised by Hon. Gonese in detail? Thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

(425 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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