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Parliamentary Roundup Bulletin No. 11 - 2011
Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust
March 22, 2011

Introduction

The much-awaited sitting of the House of Assembly, which was expected to elect a new Speaker following the nullification of the election of Lovemore Moyo by the Supreme Court last week, did not take place today as the Clerk of Parliament deferred the sitting through a press conference to later date to be announced.

Deferment of the Sitting

Announcing his decision to defer the sitting of the House at a press conference today, the Clerk of Parliament, Mr. Austin Zvoma, said the effect of the Supreme Court judgment meant that the process for which the Presidential Proclamation which had called the House to sit on 25 August 2008 was left incomplete. The House only managed to swear-in Members of Parliament and did not elect the Speaker. Thus the Supreme Court judgment has rolled back the process to 25 August 2008.

This therefore means that when the House next meets, it will have to finish up swearing in of Members. In terms of the GPA read together with Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment No. 19, ZANU PF was supposed to appoint a Member replacing Hon. Joice Mujuru upon her assumption of the Vice President position just as MDC-T appointed Hon. Gorden Moyo to replace Hon. Thokozani Khupe when she was appointed Deputy Prime Minister.

Since the election of a new Speaker has become a "game of numbers" ZANU PF wants to boost its strength in the House by appointing Vice President's Mujuru's replacement before the election of the Speaker. In terms of parliamentary Standing Rules and Orders, the aforesaid appointment of a ZANU PF Member could only be done after the election of the Speaker. Hence the manipulation of Supreme Court judgment to roll back the election of the Speaker to 25 August 2008, will come in handy for ZANU PF.

It remains to be seen how the whole issue will pan out in the following days.

On a related matter, the courts are still yet to give a judgment on the declaratory order sought by Lovemore Moyo to declare him the MP for Matobo North Constituency which he held before he was elected Speaker on 25 August 2008.

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