Chimanimani West MP Engineer Munacho Mutezo faces a recall from Parliament following his expulsion from Zanu-PF last week.
Zanu-PF expelled nine members, including Mutezo and four top executives of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association, Victor Matemadanda, Douglas Mahiya, Francis Nhando and Headman Moyo.
In terms of the Constitution, if a member of Parliament loses his/her seat after he/she ceases to belong to a political party where he/she was a member of.
Mutezo’s ouster comes after the Politburo upheld recommendations by the Zanu-PF disciplinary appeals and review committee of the Central Committee, chaired by Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko, to expel the suspended legislator.
Section 129 (k) of the Constitution states:
“The seat of a Member of Parliament becomes vacant if the member has ceased to belong to the political party of which he or she was a member when elected to Parliament and the political party concerned by written notice to the Speaker or the President of the Senate, as the case may be, has declared that the Member has ceased to belong to it.”
University of Zimbabwe law lecturer Professor Lovemore Madhuku said; “There are two decisions here — one of expulsion from the party, and another one of being recalled form Parliament.
“His party can decide to expel him, but can also allow him to continue as the legislator of his constituency and as we speak, he is still an MP who is enjoying his full benefits.”
The expulsion of Eng Mutezo from Parliament would pave way for a by-election in the Chimanimani West constituency. Eng Mutezo’s pending recall from Parliament comes hard on the heels of the recall of Norton legislator Mr Christopher Mutsvangwa.
Addressing journalists after the party’s Politburo meeting in Harare last week, Zanu-PF secretary for Administration Ignatius Chombo said;
“Munacho Mutezo has been fired, I can confirm. We even gave him an opportunity to defend himself and he was confronted with the facts and he could not defend himself any further. He is no longer a member of Zanu-PF. He can now elect to choose People First or any other party. We are going to have a by-election in that constituency.”
Chombo added: “The Disciplinary Review Appeals Committee of the Central Committee — the Appeals Committee has been sitting and has reviewed several cases. In total, 25 cases were heard which resulted in the expulsion of one member while 14 cases of two-year suspensions were upheld and will run until completion in December 2016.
But Mutezo had become a talking point in the country’s murky political waters as the ruling party and newly established opposition outfit, Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) both claimed his membership.
On the one hand ZPF claimed that Mutezo had crossed the floor, while on the other hand, ZANU-PF was arguing that the former politburo member was merely suspended hence he was still their card-carrying member. As the two rival political parties clashed over the membership status, Mutezo was reluctant to set the record straight.