22 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Mutambara, Ncube Feud - Parliament Speaks Out

PARLIAMENT will only intervene in the feud between Professors Arthur Mutambara and Welshman Ncube over the status of MDC Parliamentarians if the factions officially communicate their positions. Speaker of the House of Assembly Mr Lovemore Moyo yesterday said Parliament would not rush to take a position before the interested parties make the request.

He said he was yet to receive communication from the rival factions.

"They haven't communicated their positions to me, so I wouldn't want to be seen to be instigating them to take any actions," he said.

"I will only be able to comment and explain the procedure when I am confronted with a request.

"If a party says it is withdrawing its support for so and so, then I will be able to explain the procedures."

The feud between the two escalated on Monday when Prof Mutambara wrote Mr Moyo and Senate President Edna Madzongwe letters saying Prof Ncube had no authority to expel MDC legislators.

This followed the announcement by the Prof Ncube-led MDC faction on Monday that it had fired eight lawmakers and 49 councillors for indiscipline and crossing the floor to MDC-T.

Prof Mutambara advised Parliament's presiding officers to disregard attempts by Prof Ncube's faction to have the legislators fired.

The two are embroiled in a wrangle for leadership of MDC and the matter is still before the Supreme Court.

It is understood that some of the axed councillors openly declared that they had defected to MDC-T.

Section 41 of the Constitution is the one that is used to axe legislators from Parliament if they defect to another party.

The secretary-general of a political party is required to write to the Speaker of the House of Assembly and the Senate President informing them that the legislators no longer represent their party's interest.

However, the Supreme Court is yet to make a determination of whom between Prof Mutambara and Prof Ncube is the legitimate leader.

Prof Ncube also expelled 49 councillors, but the Urban Councils Act does not provide for the sacking of councillors if they are fired from their parties.

MDC-T last year fired the entire Chitungwiza council and the mayor on allegations of corruption, but they have remained councillors.

It is the same case with the 12 councillors the party recently expelled over corruption allegations, they have remained at work because the law does not provide for their expulsion.

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