By Andrew Murehwa
THE Parliament Privileges Committee may start looking into the possibility of removing MDC Alliance legislator Joana Mamombe on the grounds that she was certified to be mentally ill by two Government doctors.
Section 129 (1) (m) of the Constitution states that, ‘The seat of a Member of Parliament becomes vacant if the Member is certified to be mentally disordered or intellectually handicapped…’
The move to have Mamombe’s fitness to hold the seat came under the spotlight in yesterday’s sitting of the National House of Assembly, with Zanu-PF MP Tafanana Zhou (Mberengwa North) calling for the Parliamentary committee to look into Mamombe’s case vis-a-vis the Constitution.
Said Zhou in Parliament: “Section 129 (1) (m) of our national Constitution that states that, ‘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; or…
“Hon. Joanna Mamombe was certified as mentally ill by two Government doctors. I therefore ask that a Privileges Committee be set to look into the matter,” Zhou said.
Two medical reports handed over to court last week state that Mamombe has a psychological problem that requires treatment, with her defence lawyer Alec Muchadehama arguing for postponement of her trial on charges of incitement or participating in a public gathering with intent to cause public violence.
Speaker Jacob Mudenda acknowledged the possibility of that particular procedure setting off, but was cautious in his response as the legislator in question still has cases before the courts.
“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,” he said.
Mamombe is jointly charged with other MDC Alliance activists Cecilia Chimbiri, Netsai Marova, Lovejoy Chitengu, Stanley Manyenga and Obey Tererai Sithole on the charge arising from an alleged illegal demonstration in Warren Park.
She also faces another charge of allegedly faking her abduction, together with Chimbiri and Marova. – Zimbabwe Voice ■