HARARE – Zanu PF has hammered the final nails on the political coffins of former Cabinet ministers — Jonathan Moyo, Saviour Kasukuwere and Ignatius Chombo – when it recalled the trio and two others from Parliament which duly announced yesterday that they had ceased to be members of the National Assembly
Also expelled from being MPs are former acerbic Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Mandiitawepi Chimene and deposed secretary for youth league, Kudzanai Chipanga, who is currently languishing in remand prison following his arrest last week.
Professor Jonathan Moyo
Announcing their expulsion yesterday, deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Mabel Chinomona said she was acting on the letter which had been written to the august House by Zanu PF secretary for legal affairs Patrick Chinamasa, recalling the legislators.
Chinamasa said that Moyo (Tsholotsho North) Kasukuwere (Mt Darwin South), Chombo (Zvimba North), Chimene (Makoni South) and Chipanga (Makoni West) were no longer representing Zanu PF.
“They ceased to be members of Zanu PF and therefore they no longer represent the interest of the party, the notification was signed by … Chinamasa in his capacity as the secretary for legal affairs of Zanu PF.
“Section 129 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that ‘A seat of a Member of Parliament becomes vacant if the Member has ceased to belong to the political party of which he or she was a member when elected to Parliament and the political party concerned, by written notice to the Speaker or the President of the Senate, as the case may be, has declared that the member has ceased to belong to it,” Chinomona said.
The officials were expelled from Zanu PF during the special sitting of the central committee on November 19.
It is not clear whether by-elections would be held as the law requires that polling for both local authorities and parliamentary seats should have taken place within 90 days of becoming vacant unless the vacancies occurred nine months before the general election.
Zimbabwe is due to hold elections next year at dates to be announced but which should not go beyond July.
The expulsion of the five members who were part of the Generation 40 (G40) faction which was fiercely opposed to new President Emmerson Mnangagwa replacing Robert Mugabe, follows seismic developments which started on November 15 with the intervention of the military to stop purges in Zanu PF.
The curtain finally fell on Mugabe last Tuesday after a tumultuous week in which he lost his grip on power following that bloodless military intervention which led to several detentions of his former allies in the G40 cabal.
The long-serving nonagenarian was facing increasing pressure due to a wave of public discontent which culminated in large gatherings in the capital on November 18.
On November 19, Mugabe was booted from Zanu and replaced by Mnangagwa as the leader of the former liberation movement — paving way for the 75-year-old to take over the reins at government level — as the same meeting nominated him for Mugabe’s national post.
Mugabe’s iron-like grip on power first slipped on November 15 when the military launched the intervention which saw them overrunning the State broadcaster and placing the longtime Zimbabwean leader under house arrest.
The operation triggered a chain of events which ended with Mugabe’s long-awaited resignation.
Moyo and Kasukuwere, who were said to have been holed up at Mugabe’s residence during the stunning fast-paced political developments, have not been seen in public since Mugabe resigned although unverified reports say they skipped the country after the 93-year-old pledged for their release during negotiations with military chiefs.
Chombo and Chipanga are currently facing various charges at the courts and have been denied bail.
In the meantime, Chimene is said to have gone into self-imposed exile in a neighbouring country.