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Published On: Thu, Feb 5th, 2015

Speaker to Rule On Kereke Ouster Request

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Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda is expected to make a ruling on a request by MDC-T to have Bikita West National Assembly Member Dr Munyaradzi Kereke lose his parliamentary seat following media reports that he had rejoined Zanu-PF.

MDC-T Chief Whip Mr Innocent Gonese, who rose on a point of order yesterday, said it was on public record that Dr Kereke approached the Constitutional Court arguing that he had ceased to be a member of Zanu-PF when he submitted his nomination papers.

But legal experts said the move by MDC-T was a waste of time since Dr Kerere never ceased to be a member of the ruling party.

“The matter was not done in court, but was negotiated out-of- court,” said a Harare legal expert.

“Dr Kereke settled the matter out-of-court with Zanu-PF on the grounds that (Didymus) Mutasa (who was the party’s secretary for Administration at the time) had unconstitutionally sought to remove him from Parliament,” he said.

“At law Kereke remains a Zanu-PF MP and he is not crossing the floor.

“The out-of-court settlement also took note that voters in the July 31 2013 harmonised elections voted for Kereke under Zanu-PF as the ballot paper clearly indicated.

“The voters knew exactly that they were voting for a Zanu-PF person in Kereke.”

Sources said Zanu-PF Chief Whip Joram Gumbo had yesterday submitted his position to Cde Mudenda which is expected to be known today.

Mudenda said he would need to interrogate provisions of the Constitution regarding circumstances in which a legislator could lose his parliamentary seat.

“Can the House allow the Speaker to interrogate the point of order raised by Honourable Gonese,” he said.

Dr Kereke was asked to step down for Elias Musakwa, but he went ahead to campaign on a Zanu-PF platform and his name eventually appeared on the ballot paper under the ruling party ticket.

Mutasa had written a letter to Parliament in an attempt to make Dr Kereke lose his seat, prompting him to approach the Constitutional Court challenging the letter.

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