MDC-Alliance vice president and Member of Parliament for Harare East, Mr Tendai Biti and five others were yesterday recalled from Parliament after the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) announced that they no longer belonged to the party.
Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda announced the expulsion after commencement of business in the House, saying this was after PDP secretary-general Mr Benjamin Rukanda wrote to him advising that the six had ceased to represent their party.
Other members who were recalled include William Madzimure of Kambuzuma, Settlement Chikwinya — Mbizo, Kucaca Ivumile Phulu — Nkulumane, Sichelesile Mahlangu — Pumula and Regai Tsunga — Mutasa South.
The letter was copied to MDC-Tsvangirai, MDC led by Professor Welshman Ncube, the Multiracial Christian Democracy, Zanu Ndonga, Zimbabwe People First and Transform Zimbabwe, which were all part of the MDC-Alliance ahead of the 2018 harmonised elections.
“I am the current secretary general of the
People’s Democratic Party and as such I have authority to make these correspondents:
“The members listed below have by operation of Clause 64 subsection A of our party constitution ceased to belong to the party and are hereby being recalled. We await your further advice,” reads part of the letter.
The six former legislators were not present in the August House when the announcement was made but the axe has been for long hovering over their heads after the party that seconded them to Parliament was given the greenlight to recall them from their parliamentary duties by the High Court.
Mr Biti and fellow PDP legislators, who were elected to Parliament under the MDC-Alliance banner in the 2018 elections, lost their bid to remain in Parliament after the High Court ruled last week that they can all be recalled from their positions.
High Court judge, Justice Sylvia Chirawu-Mugomba, said the PDP faction led by Lucia Matibenga has the power to recall the party’s MPs and councillors who have joined the post-election MDC-Alliance.
So far, dozens of MDC-A legislators and councillors have been recalled from Parliament by the official opposition party led by Mr Douglas Mwonzora
The MPs were recalled in terms of a constitutional provision that declares seats vacant held by members of the party that sponsored them in the last election.
During the formation of the MDC-A before the 2018 elections, the parties that formed the alliance were each allocated constituencies to nominate a single MDC-A candidate, while negotiations produced lists of nominees from each formation for the proportional representation seats in the National Assembly and the Senate.
Mr Biti and the six other legislators in 2019 ditched PDP to join the MDC-A effectively ceding their right to be parliamentarians.