Government has formalised the resignation of Obert Mpofu from Parliament through publication of a notice in the latest government gazette.
Mpofu resigned as Matabeleland North Senator last month to pave way for newly- appointed Home Affairs minister Cain Mathema to take up his Cabinet post.
Mnangagwa had to regularise Mathema’s legislative status so that he does not break the constitutional stipulation of having only five non-MPS as ministers or deputy ministers.
Mnangagwa already had five non-MPs: Kirsty Coventry (Youth), Mthuli Ncube (Finance), Obadiah Moyo (Health), Amon Murwira (Higher Education) and July Moyo (Local Government).
The President may appoint up to five ministers and deputy ministers from outside Parliament “chosen for their professional skills and competence”.
Since this quota had been filled, and Mathema was not a member of Parliament, Mpofu had to surrender his Senate seat to enable the former to assume his Cabinet post.
On Friday, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission acting chief elections officer Utoile Silaigwana notified through a gazette that a vacancy had arisen in Senate.
“It is hereby notified, that the commission has received notices of vacancies that have occurred among the party-list members of the Senate,” the notice reads.
“The public is hereby notified, in terms of section 39 (40) (a) of the Electoral Act, that there exists vacancies in the Senate following the death of Senator Thokozile Angela Mathuthu and the resignation of Senator Obert Moses Mpofu who were both elected members of the Senate for Matabeleland North Province by virtue of section 124 (I) (b) of the commission.”
Mpofu told the media last month on the sidelines of Zanu PF victory celebrations at Simbo Primary School in Nkayi that he had volunteered to resign from Senate.
“We have to accept reality because when (Cde) Mathema was appointed minister, there was an oversight by the appointing authority because he (Cde Mathema) was neither an MP nor a Senator.
“So when that error was noted that constitutionally he was not supposed to be minister, I was then requested as the most senior official in the province to choose someone in the province to relinquish his or her post to pave way for Mathema.
“I said no I am personally volunteering to do so because the other option was for Cde Mathema to resign,” he said.
“As the most senior party official in the province, I saw it fit to allow one of our own to take up a ministerial post, which is why I decided to resign,” he said.