Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda yesterday ruled that Bikita West National Assembly Member Dr Munyaradzi Kereke never stopped being a Zanu-PF member and therefore did not cross the floor as alleged by MDC-T.
He said the Constitutional Court did not rule on the political party affiliation of Dr Kereke when the legislator challenged his expulsion from Parliament.
The Speaker made the ruling in the Chamber following a point of order raised on Wednesday by MDC-T chief whip Mr Innocent Gonese, who said Dr Kereke’s parliamentary seat should be declared vacant as he had crossed the floor by rejoining Zanu-PF in violation of the Constitution.
Cde Mudenda said he wrote Dr Kereke a letter last year advising him of his expulsion on the advice of former Zanu-PF secretary for Administration Cde Didymus Mutasa, whose letter has since been deemed to have been unconstitutionally written when Dr Kereke’s lawyers and their Zanu-PF counterpart struck an out-of-court settlement.
“Regarding his dismissal from Zanu-PF following his election on a Zanu-PF ticket, the Constitutional Court remained silent. The matter was settled out-of-court,” said Cde Mudenda.
He said in the out-of-court settlement, it was agreed that Dr Kereke’s letter of dismissal from Parliament had been premised on wrong grounds as procedure had not been followed.
It was on that basis that Mudenda ruled that Dr Kereke remained Bikita West MP on a Zanu-PF ticket.
Soon after the ruling, Dr Kereke rose on the front seat where he was seated and jumped several times in celebration, while Zanu-PF legislators cheered.
In his submission, Mr Gonese said in terms of Section 129 (l) Dr Kereke should lose his seat because he had rejoined Zanu-PF which he had vehemently disowned when he approached the Constitutional Court challenging his dismissal from Parliament.
Section 129 (l) reads as follows: The seat of a member shall become vacant if the Member, not having been a member of a political party when he or she was elected to Parliament, becomes a member of a political party.”
Meanwhile Gokwe Nembudziya MP, Justice Mayor Wadyajena yesterday moved a motion that the portfolio committee on youth development, indigenization and economic empowerment which he chaired would table a report on its findings on Chisumbanje’s Green Fuel.
The committee toured the Chisumbanje plant last year and received evidence from several stake-holders about operations at the Low-veld based firm.
Some of the stakeholders included villagers, management of green-fuel, Environmental Management Agency among others.
In its evidence EMA said they had fined Green Fuel several times for discharging effluent into rivers thereby polluting rivers downstream something that had adverse effect on human and cattle.