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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Swearing in of new legislators postponed
    Tererai Karimakwenda, SW Radio Africa

    August 26, 2013

    Newly elected members of parliament, who were due to be sworn in on Tuesday, will have to wait until next week, as most of the legislator-elects will be in Victoria Falls for the U.N. World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly. If they’re not there they’re at the Harare Agricultural Show.

    The delay was announced by the Clerk of Parliament, Austin Zvoma, who confirmed to journalists Sunday in Harare that the majority of legislator-elects would be at the controversial tourism event, which has seen the UN criticized for choosing Zimbabwe as the venue.

    Both events will run until the end of the month and it was not possible to conduct the swearing-in ceremonies until 3rd September, according to Zvoma.

    The parliamentary clerk is quoted as saying: “Key people like the President and the bulk of our MPs-elect will be in Victoria Falls and some attending the annual Agricultural Show in Harare. Now we are waiting for the closure of those two important events.”

    The outgoing MDC-T chief whip in parliament, Innocent Gonese, explained that the swearing-in is conducted by Zvoma, as the clerk of parliament, but the new constitution adopted this year stipulates that the clerk works in conjunction with the Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC).

    Explaining the process for SW Radio Africa, Gonese said when all members are sworn in, nominations for Speaker of Parliament and Senate President are accepted by the clerk and voted on by the new members. If there is more than one nominee, the voting is done by secret ballot.

    In terms of who is eligible, Gonese said: “Former MPs and Senators are eligible, as well as anyone who is eligible to be elected. Basically, anyone on the voters’ roll is eligible. However, the political parties will usually have decided on their choice already.”

    If the elected Speaker of Parliament is a sitting member of the House, their seat becomes vacant and a by-election will have to be held in their constituency. But in the Senate, the party of the elected nominee selects a replacement in that Constituency.

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