Zimbabwe: ZEC Gazettes 3 MDC-T Seats Vacancies

12 November 2020

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has gazetted vacancies for three more proportional representation National Assembly seats following the recall of legislators by the Dr Thokozani Khupe led MDC-T last month.

MDC-T has the right to nominate new members for these party-list seats, with the only restriction being that they must be held by women.

ZEC acting chief elections officer Mr Utoile Silaigwana announced in General Notice 2 846 of 2020 published in the Government Gazette.

The three seats were formally held by Ms Dorcas Sibanda from Bulawayo, Mrs Lynette Karenyi from Manicaland and Ms Concillia Chinanzvavana from Mashonaland West.

The three were part of the 10 MDC-T legislators that were recalled at the beginning of last month. Those representing constituencies can only be replaced in a by-election, and elections are at the moment delayed because of the need to avoid high risk of infection by Covid-19.

MDC-T has recalled 31 legislators in the ongoing feud within the opposition party's ranks pitting Dr Khupe and Mr Nelson Chamisa.

Although the legislators were elected on the MDC-A ticket, the High Court has ruled that the MDC-A was an electoral pact with nominations allocated to members of the parties forming the pact, of which the MDC-T was the largest.

The feuding within the opposition followed what the Supreme Court ruled was a wrongful takeover of the leadership of the MDC-T by Mr Chamisa after the death of founding president Morgan Tsvangirai in 2018.

The High Court, backed by the Supreme Court on appeal, found in a civil suit that under the rules of the MDC-T itself, Dr Khupe and the rest of the old leadership should run the MDC-T until a new congress.

There are no laws governing political parties in Zimbabwe, so the State is never involved, but party members can sue each other in the courts as a civil matter if they feel their party is not following the party's own internal constitution or rules.

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