MDC-T interim president Thokozani Khupe was Wednesday sworn into office as as a Member of Parliament (MP), leading to an outcry by officials of the rival opposition MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa.
This followed the release by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of the names of new MPs to replace the 13 MDC Alliance legislators who were recalled.
The recalls came after a Supreme Court ruling which declared Khupe as the lawful leader of the opposition MDC following Chamisa’s hurried and ill thought succession of Morgan Tsvangirai in February 2018.
ZEC gazetted the names of legislators who will replace MDC Alliance Members of Parliament who were recalled by the MDC-T.
In addition to Khupe, the other new legislators include Khupe spokesperson Khaliphani Phugeni, Yvonne Winfielda Musarurwa, Lindani Moyo, January Sawuke, Memory Munochinzwa, Lwazi Sibanda, Sipho Mokone, Molly Dorothy Ndlovu, Tamani Moyo, Gertrude Moyo, Piniel Denga, Chief Ndlovu, Nomalanga Khumalo.
“It is hereby notified, in terms of section 39(7)(a) of the Electoral Act [chapter 2:13], that persons listed in the schedule nominated by the MDC -T party to fill the vacancies that occurred among the party-list members of the national assembly and the senate following the recall of the incumbent members by the MDC-T party on the grounds that they had ceased to be members of that party have been appointed as national assembly party-list members and senators respectively with effect from the date of publication of this notice.”
MDC-T leadership has over the past months been recalling MPs and councillors aligned to MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa who were accused of acting against the MDC constitution.
In response to Khupe and colleagues being sworn in, MDC-A Secretary-General Chalton Hwende said the ‘people’s Parliament’ has just died and the Chamisa-led party must now start considering their options.
Observers say Chamisa cannot muster the wherewithal to pull out all his legislators from Parliament as most depend on the allowances for sustenance. In fact, an attempt in April to pull out MPs hit a snag.