Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Biti MPs in trouble

By Chengetai Zvauya

HARARE – The opposition MDC has recalled from Parliament nine of its 91 legislators who attempted to topple Morgan Tsvangirai.

Tendai Biti rally in Manicaland
Tendai Biti rally in Manicaland

In a letter to the Speaker of National Assembly Jacob Mudenda, Thokozani Khupe, the opposition leader in the house, advised Mudenda that the party had the sovereign right to recall its MPs.

Harare East legislator Tendai Biti and his co-conspirators Solomon Madzore, Dzivaresekwa; Paul Madzore, Glen View South; Moses Manyengavana, Highfield West; Willias Madzimure, Kambuzuma; Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, Lobengula; Bekithemba Nyathi, Pelandaba-Mpopoma; Evelyn Masaiti, proportional representative; Watchy Sibanda,  proportional representative; Settlement Chikwinya, Mbizo; and Reggie Moyo, Luveve have been recalled.

Khupe advised Mudenda to disregard Biti’s Tuesday letter which sought to protect him and eight other legislators from recall.

Biti wrote to Mudenda saying he had been mandated by his national council to inform the Speaker that “no one in the MDC other than the secretary-general has a right to write to you on any issue with respect to our members of parliament particularly in terms of Section 129 of the Constitution”.

Biti said Tsvangirai needed a court order to overturn the decision of the “national council meeting” of April 26, 2014 held at Mandel Training Centre in Harare, which the Tsvangirai-led group dismisses as a “bogus” gathering.

Khupe, who is also the MDC’s deputy president, said Biti’s letter was in bad taste as he is a leader of a faction that unsuccessfully sought to stage a coup against the leadership of the MDC.

Khupe said when Biti wrote to Parliament, no written notice of withdrawal of any Member of Parliament had been submitted.

“The MDC, just like any other political party reserves the right to recall any Member of Parliament who was elected under its ticket if the member has ceased to belong to it,” Khupe’s letter to Mudenda says.

She said Biti was expelled from the MDC after the national council was satisfied that he had formed his own political party which he is yet to find a suitable name for.

“The national council went on to nullify the meeting held by Hon. Biti and his gang at Mandel together with any resolutions they may have made there-at,” Khupe’s letter says.

“As stated above, the MDC has a right to recall any of its Members of Parliament in terms of section 129(K) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.”

At least 82 legislators this week pledged their loyalty to Tsvangirai, disassociating themselves from Biti and his team.

Khupe said she was the only one with the authority to communicate with the Speaker on behalf MDC legislators.

“Mr. Speaker Sir, the leader of the opposition in Parliament is the deputy president of MDC, Thokozani Khupe,” she said in her letter to Mudenda.

“She is the person who makes all formal communications with the leadership of Parliament on official positions of the MDC not Hon. Biti. Further, the chief whip for the MDC is Hon. (Innocent) Gonese. It must follow that Hon. Biti has no right of making formal communications on behalf of the MDC to you.

“We need to stress Mr. Speaker Sir that your relationship with the MDC is a formal relationship and therefore your communication with the MDC should be through the formal channels recognised by law and the rules.”

In his letter to Mudenda, Biti claims that only him as secretary-general can write to Mudenda on any issue in respect to MDC members of Parliament particularly in terms of Section 129(k) of the Constitution.

He said that Members of Parliament can only be recalled by the citizenry and not by their political parties.

“What we find particularly reprehensible is that Hon. Biti does not disclose his interests in this matter and therefore does not put you into his confidence,” Khupe said.

“He is a leader of a faction that unsuccessfully sought to stage a coup de tat against the leadership of the MDC and install Hon Biti as the de facto leader of the MDC.

“However, the leadership of the MDC in the national council have since nullified his actions and expelled him from the party. The consequences of that expulsion are what he seeks to pre-empt by writing that legal opinion to you. In short, he basically seeks to protect himself from the consequences of his actions at the party.” Daily News