Roy Bennett could lose his Senate seat


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Exiled Movement for Democratic Change treasurer Roy Bennett could lose his seat in the Senate because he has missed 21 sittings. But there is catch. His party could still nominate him as it has the prerogative to fill the seat.

According to Veritas, Bennett could lose his seat if the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front gets more than half the members of the Senate to vote for a resolution that the seat should become vacant.

The Senate has 93 members. ZANU-PF technically has 57 members, its elected 30, five nominated by President Robert Mugabe, 12 chiefs and 10 provincial governors. This is 10 more than more than the required 47 which means that ZANU-PF could even go ahead without replacing the late David Karimanzira.

The Senate adjourned to 10 May.

The ousting of Bennett could be sweet victory for ZANU-PF after its drubbing for the Speaker’s post in Parliament. It would also give President Mugabe a plausible excuse not to swear him as Deputy Minister of Agriculture, one of the sticking points in the Global Political Agreement which ushered the inclusive government.

Ministers and deputy Ministers are required to be Members of Parliament.

But Bennett’s seat is one of the four Senate seats reserved for Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s party. This means that if Bennett loses his seat the party could still nominate him.

Veritas say Bennett’s problem then would only be that he would have to return to the country to take up this seat.

Bennett, who is currently living in South Africa, was recently acquitted of treason by the Supreme Court but he said there was no way he could return to Zimbabwe because there are three outstanding charges against him.

“Bringing to mind ZANU-PF’s attitude, their total duplicity in the Global Political Agreement, the fact that Mugabe is still taking a swipe at me whenever he can, there’s no ways I can return back to Zimbabwe under these circumstances,” Bennett was quoted as saying recently.

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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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