SENIOR STAFF WRITER
MDC interim leader Thokozani Khupe and her 14 party nominees were yesterday sworn in as MPs in the National Assembly and Senate despite an urgent court application to stop the process, the Daily News reports.
This comes as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) last week confirmed the MDC filling of 15 vacancies that arose after Khupe recalled proportional representation MPs who are backing MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa.
Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda announced that the MDC had nominated Khupe, Khaliphani Phugeni, Yvonne Musarurwa, Lindani Moyo, January Sawuke, Memory Munochinzwa, Lwazi Sibanda, Sipho Mokone, Molly Ndlovu, Tamani Moyo, Gertrude Moyo, Piniel Denga, Chief Ndluvu, Nomalanga Khumalo and Teti Chisorochengwe in terms of the Constitution.
He directed Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda to administer the Oath of Office in terms of the law.
The swearing in of the new legislators also came despite the fact that a voter, Charles Madhiwa of Mbizo, Kwekwe, approached the High Court on Monday seeking to stop the swearing-in ceremony ostensibly because they did not belong to the party that sponsored the recalled MPs — the MDC Alliance.
In his application, Madhiwa was seeking an order to stop the 15 MPs from taking the oath of office.
“Respondents shall not administer or cause the sixth to 20th respondents to take an oath of office as a Member of Parliament nor occupy nor allow being occupied any seat in Parliament on the basis of GN 2553 of 2020 or of any appointment declared therein.”
Mudenda, the Zec, it’s chairperson Priscilla Chigumba, Chokuda, Senate president Mabel Chinomona and Khupe along with the 14 nominees were cited as respondents.
Madhiwa said his decision to challenge Khupe and her team form taking office was a matter of principle in his effort to “stop people from one distinct political party being sworn in as Members of Parliament to fill seats won and previously held by members of another distinct political party, without any election”.
“If allowed, it will also alter the election results announced in 2018 by Zec and the chairperson, although under our law, changing an election result can only be done by a court ruling on an election petition, neither of which has occurred here,” he submitted.
“Zec has in effect usurped the role of the courts and purported to alter Zimbabwe’s 2018 parliamentary election results as proclaimed by itself.
“It will alter our Parliament’s composition in a way that is not, by any stretch of the imagination, based on the will of the people as expressed at the last general elections held in July 2018.”