Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front Member of Parliament for Mberengwa North Tafanana Zhou says Movement for Democratic Change legislator Joana Mamombe should vacate her seat because she has been certified mentally ill by government doctors.
Speaking in Parliament on a point of privilege on Thursday, Zhou said under the country’s constitution Section 129 (1) (m): “The seat of a Member of Parliament becomes vacant if the Member is certified to be mentally disordered or intellectually handicapped under any law in force in Zimbabwe”.
He added: “Hon. Joanna Mamombe was certified as mentally ill by two government doctors. I therefore Hon. Speaker Sir, ask that a Privileges Committee be set to look into the matter.”
Some media reports have given the impression that Mamombe was recalled by the Movement for Democratic Change- Tsvangirai but apparently she was not.
Speaker of Parliament made it clear that she was still a legislator when he responded: “We should be able to get an official response from the Judiciary and the doctor’s reports accordingly and compare with whosoever is the sponsor of the Hon. Member. However, because the matter is still with our courts and the courts have not pronounced themselves as to the results of the medical findings. We shall have to be cautious in proceeding accordingly until such time that the matter has been fully ventilated by the courts.”
If Mamombe had been recalled, Pudenda would simply have said so.
According to one observer, Mamombe’s name might have been listed among the members that interim MDC-T leader Thokozani Khupe intended to recall but she did not recall her as this would have been a political time-bomb because of Mamombe’s western connections and the sympathy she is currently receiving from those who believe she is being persecuted by the government.
Mamombe was arrested for holding demonstrations during the national lockdown but is now facing other charges, among them faking her abduction.