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Published On: Thu, Mar 26th, 2015

Mutasa, Mliswa challenge expulsion: speaker has no mandate to expel them.

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news_bJacob-Mudenda-250FORMER Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa and his nephew Temba Mliswa, who are challenging their expulsion from Parliament, have filed their heads of argument insisting Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda had no legal mandate to chuck them out of the august House.

Mutasa and Mliswa’s application is set to be heard by the Constitutional Court on Wednesday next week.

Through their lawyer Tafadzwa Mugabe, the two said the principles of the rule of law and good governance entrenched in section 3 of the Constitution must be promoted in the interpretation of any constitution.

“The Speaker or president of the Senate is not empowered to resolve any dispute between a member and his or her political party regarding any of the two requirements,” they argued.
“If there is any dispute, no matter how frivolous or vexatious it may appear to the Speaker or president of the Senate, the rule of law and the principle of separation of powers requires that the dispute be resolved by the court of law.

“A political party cannot, merely by written notice to the Speaker declare that a member has ceased to belong to it, cause a member to cease to belong to it, if the member is still a member at the time the written notice is received by the Speaker.

“In other words, a person is not dead merely because their death certificates had been issued.”
Mutasa and Mliswa further said an MP who has ceased to belong to a political party of which he or she was a member when elected to Parliament does not lose his or her seat until the political party concerned, by written notice to Speaker or president of the Senate, declares that he or she has ceased to belong to it.

The two were expelled from Parliament last month after they had fallen out with President Robert Mugabe, who accused them of working against the principles of Zanu PF.

A nomination court is expected to sit on April 8, as Zanu PF makes a move to fill the vacant posts, with the by-election set for June 10.

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