18 August 2009

Zimbabwe: Expelled MDC MPs to Appeal

Harare — Expelled MDC Members of Parliament said they were appealing to the Supreme Court against a High Court decision last week dismissing their application to have their disciplinary case reviewed.

In an interview at the weekend the trio's lawyer, Mr Thamsanqa Khumalo said he had already started preparing court papers he will file at the Supreme Court to stop Parliament from ejecting his clients.

The MDC MPs expelled from the party were Bulilima East Member of House of Assembly, Mr Norman Mpofu, Nkayi South Member of House of Assembly, Mr Abednico Bhebhe, Lupane East, MP, Mr Njabuliso Mguni after the party's disciplinary committee found them guilty of misconduct last month.

This prompted the trio to approach the High Court to stop Parliament from ejecting them from the House after the party's secretary general, Professor Welshman Ncube wrote to the Speaker of House of Assembly, Mr Lovemore Moyo to declare their seats vacant.

Bulawayo High Court judge, Justice Maphios Cheda dismissed their case last Friday on the basis that it was not urgent.

But Mr Khumalo said his clients would not give up the fight until they get justice.

"We will be filing our papers on Tuesday (today) because we believe my clients have prospects of success on appeal. The judge seriously misdirected himself and we will have to appeal despite the fact that the judge had not given his reasons," said Mr Khumalo.

"We cannot wait until my clients have suffered injury arising from the High Court judgment, I now have full instructions from my clients to appeal."

When contacted for comment, Clerk of Parliament, Mr Austin Zvoma declined to comment, saying a full statement will be issued today on the fate of the legislators.

The sacked lawmakers, however, have continued attending parliament sessions and yesterday, Mr Bhebhe chaired the parliamentary portfolio committee on Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism.

The MDC disciplinary committee chaired by Mr Lyson Mlambo expelled the three legislators last month after they walked out of the hearing arguing the committee was not improperly constituted.

Tsholotsho South Member of House of Assembly Mr Maxwell Dube and Gwanda North Member of House of Assembly Mr Thandeko Mnklandla escaped with a caution.

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