Zanu PF halts Biti and co Parliament reinstatement
Citizens Coalition for Change vice-president Tendai Biti and five others could still have to fight for their place in Parliament after Zanu-PF filed a notice of appeal at the Supreme Court against a ruling suspending by-election in six constituencies held by the People’s Democratic Party.
Biti, Willias Madzimure (Kambuzuma), Settlement Chikwinya (Mbizo), Kucaca Phulu (Nkulumane), Sichelesile Mahlangu (Pumula), and Regai Tsunga (Mutasa South), had been reinstated as MPs without being subjected to any by-election after the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) canceled by-elections in the six constituencies in compliance with a court order.
The High Court had ruled that there exist no vacancies in Nkulumane, Mbizo, Kambuzuma, Mutasa South, Pumula, and Harare East National Assembly Constituencies.
On the sidelines of the court process, President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared the seats vacant, ahead of the March 26 by-elections.
However, ZEC last week amended Mnangagwa’s proclamation, stating there will not be any by-elections in the six constituencies in compliance with the court order. This was after an order by Justice Tawanda Chitapi after Biti challenged the declaration of the six seats as vacant.
But Zanu-PF is adamant the six constituencies need to be subjected to the by-election.
“The learned judge misdirected himself by granting that order,” Zanu PF secretary for legal affairs Paul Mangwana told Zim Morning Post. He added that the notice of appeal has had the effect of suspending the existing ruling, opening a window for by-elections to take place in the concerned constituencies.
It’s unclear if ZEC will gazette and then hold another Nomination Court for the affected constituencies or will wait for direction from the Supreme Court given March 26 is only two months away.