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Parly declares vacancies in Mt Pleasant, Harare East



SPEAKER of Parliament Jacob Mudenda has declared vacancies in Mt Pleasant and Harare East constituencies, paving the way for another fresh round of by-elections as the country remains locked in perpetual election mode.


Opposition legislators Fadzai Mahere of Mt Pleasant and Allan Markham of Harare East resigned from the National Assembly in sympathy with their leader Nelson Chamisa who dumped the Citizens’ Coalition for Change after it had been hijacked by imposter secretary-general Sengezo Tshabangu.

There is mounting pressure on other bona fide CCC legislators to also pull out of Parliament to prove they are not captured by the ruling Zanu PF.

Mahere and Markham tendered their resignations on 29 January and 2 February respectively in solidarity with Chamisa who left the CCC party in a huff citing infiltration by Zanu PF and state agencies.

This followed a series of controversial recalls of elected MPs by Tshabangu which have gifted Zanu PF with a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly, crucial for changing and passing laws at will.

This week in Parliament, Mudenda said he received resignation letters from Mahere and Markham, therefore creating two vacancies in the lower House.

“On the 29th and 31st of January 2024, Parliament received letters from Ms. Fadzayi Mahere and Mr. Allan Markham respectively, advising of their resignation from Parliament with immediate effect, in accordance with Section 129 (1) (b) of the Constitution,” Mudenda said.

“Section 129 (1) (b) states as follows: “. . . a seat of a Member of Parliament becomes vacant upon the member resigning his or her seat by written notice to the President of the Senate or to the Speaker, as the case may be . . .”

Ms. Mahere was a Member of Parliament for Mount Pleasant Constituency and Mr. Markham was a Member of Parliament for Harare East Constituency. Consequently, vacancies exist in the membership of Parliament, in respect of the two constituencies, and in terms of Section 39 (1) of the Electoral Act [Chapter 2:13], His Excellency the President and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, shall duly be notified in writing of these vacancies.”
Section 39 of the Electoral Act stipulates: “In the event of a vacancy occurring among the constituency members of the National Assembly, or otherwise than through a dissolution of Parliament, the Speaker shall notify the President and the Commission of the vacancy, in writing, as soon as possible after he or she becomes aware of it.”

“(2) The President shall, within a period of fourteen days after — (a) he or she has been notified in terms of this section of a vacancy among the constituency members of the National Assembly; or
(b) a declaration is made by the Chief Elections Officer in terms of section fifty; or, (c) a nomination day or the last nomination day, as the case may be, where no person has been duly nominated for election as a constituency member of the National Assembly;

“Publish a notice in the Gazette ordering a new election to fill the vacancy in the same manner, with any changes that may be necessary, as is provided in section thirty-eight in regard to a general election, and the provisions of this Act shall apply accordingly.”
While Mahere and Markham have so far been the only ones to officially resign, other legislators have been caught between a rock and a hard place as they were blindsided by Chamisa’s sudden departure from the party.

As reported by The NewsHawks, although many MPs have been expressing support on social media, several of them have remained in Parliament, waiting to see Chamisa’s next move before they can take action.

In January, Chamisa announced he was quitting the CCC in a 13-page statement addressed to the people of Zimbabwe.

“This is to officially, and under my hand, inform you fellow citizens of Zimbabwe and the world, that, with immediate effect, I no longer have anything to do with CCC,” he wrote.

Chamisa’s bombshell came after an internal implosion of the CCC following Tshabangu’s dramatic and arbitrary recalls of its MPs, senators and councillors through manoeuvres described by observers as brazen political subterfuge, supported by the executive, Parliament and the judiciary, as well as Zanu PF, spearheaded by state security agents.

The observers say Tshabangu took advantage of the CCC’s amorphous structure, lack of a constitution and office bearers to claim interim leadership through a self-appointed committee of his Bulawayo-based allies to destroy the opposition party.

The decision has however left CCC MPs loyal to Chamisa in the lurch and vulnerable to further recalls and decimation.

Chamisa said: “As you may be aware, the CCC idea was an idea we prayerfully conceived. The original idea meant to place our God and the Citizens at the centre of all decision making. This test was not passed and the purpose was not served. The original CCC idea has however, been contaminated, bastardised, hijacked by Zanu PF through the abuse of state institutions. CCC has not been aligned to its founding Purpose and Mandate. Further, CCC has now been rendered an extension of and been taken over by Zanu PF.”

“CCC has, to all intents and purposes, been criminally handed over to Zanu PF. Our politics has been defiled by schemes of personal aggrandisement upon a runaway pursuit of politics of positions, title, benefits, trinkets and trappings of office. A contaminated, bastardised, hijacked CCC cannot deliver a New Great Zimbabwe!”

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