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Biti and colleagues back in Parliament after Rukanda loses appeal

By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |

High Court Judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi on Wednesday dismissed an appeal by Benjamin Rukanda who had claimed he was People’s Democratic Party (PDP) secretary general and wrote a letter recalling MDC Alliance vice president Tendai Biti and five other MPs from Parliament.

Main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) vice president and legislator Tendai Biti
Main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) vice president and legislator Tendai Biti

Rukanda wrote a letter to Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda last month recalling Biti, the MP for Harare East; William Madzimure of Kambuzuma; Settlement Chikwinya of Mbizo; Kucaca Phulu of Nkulumane; Sichelesile Mahlangu of Pumula and Regai Tsunga of Mutasa South.

But the opposition officials approached the High Court seeking an interdict against Rukanda’s letter arguing he wasn’t the secretary general of the PDP. The order was granted by Justice Amy Tsanga.

Rukanda last week appealed against the order by Justice Tsaga and his order was dismissed by Justice Chitapi yesterday on the basis that it failed to comply with the rules.

Chikwinya is quoted saying: “If the Speaker of Parliament is to be fair and just, the recently recalled six MPs must be admitted back to parliament.

“It is common knowledge that Mudenda is a Zanu PF Politburo member and obviously will await instructions from party HQ before obliging with the court order.”

The main opposition MDC Alliance has already lost more than half of its parliamentarians after they were recalled by the smaller MDC-T party led by Douglas Mwonzora and Thokozani Khupe despite the fact that they contested in 2018 elections on the MDC Alliance ticket.

They were accused of supporting opposition MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa. UK based Law expert Alex Magaisa said Mudenda had no choice on the matter but to reinstate the six MPs.

“I don’t understand why the MPs are waiting for Mudenda to call them to Parliament. Mudenda has no choice in the matter. The High Court quashed the illegal expulsion. It means it was null and void, it’s as if it never happened. They should return to Parliament & take their seats,” he said.