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by the Clerk of Parliament, Mr. A.M.Zvoma
March 22, 2011
handing down of the Supreme Court Judgment
on 10 March 2011, which nullified the election of Lovemore Moyo
as Speaker of the House of Assembly, I pointed out that we are still
studying the full implications of the Supreme Court judgment. That
study included the requirements to be put in place to meet the clearly
laid down criteria of secret ballot in any election of a Presiding
Officer, in this case the Speaker of the House
of Assembly. I am pleased to announce that we have now completed
that study and taken legal advice.
After the 2008
His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe fixed
Tuesday 25 August 2008, Parliament Building, as the date and place
at which newly elected members were to meet in terms of section
39(1), and elect a Speaker of the House of Assembly. Pursuant to
that, members duly declared elected at the 2008 Parliamentary elections
assembled and, after taking the Oath or Affirmation of Loyalty,
proceeded to electa Speaker. In compliance with the law, the process
was presided over by the Clerk of Parliament.
It is now a matter of public record that in its
ruling, the Supreme Court found the voting process by secret ballot
flawed and accordingly set aside the election of Lovemore Moyo as
Speaker of the House of Assembly. Put differently, notwithstanding
that the ruling means that Mr. L. Moyo was never legally elected
Speaker: he was a de facto Speaker from 25 August 2008 until 10
March 2011, the date of the Supreme Court ruling. This notwithstanding,
precedent is clear, that decisions made by the incumbent during
this period remain valid for legal and other consequences.
The status quo
that prevailed just before the purported election has been restored
by this judgment. In this case, we have to proceed from the position
that although there was a dissolution of Parliament (including the
House of Assembly), there was no election of Speaker of the House
on 25 August 2008.
Standing Orders and the Supreme Court Ruling oblige us to go back
to the beginning to procedurally and lawfully fill the vacancy in
the office of Speaker created by the dissolution of Parliament at
the beginning of 2008. Accordingly, I, as the clerk of Parliament
duly mandated to comply with the provisions of the Constitution
and Standing Orders, do hereby announce that the election of the
Speaker will take place on a future date to be announced in due
As a result
of the foregoing, the adjournment of the House of Assembly to 14:15
hours today, the 22nd March 2011, has been superceded by the Supreme
Court ruling and there will be no further business of the House
until the election of the Speaker.
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