MDC-T leader Dr Thokozani Khupe is set to bounce back in Parliament after her name was part of 15 others the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) gazetted yesterday as people nominated by her party to fill in seats in the National Assembly and Senate that fell vacant after the recall of some legislators.
ZEC chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba invited voters with objections to lodge them with her office before the nominations are confirmed.
A fortnight ago, the electoral body declared the seats vacant after Parliament notified it of a decision by the MDC-T to recall 15 of its legislators.
Dr Khupe is set to take up a seat in the National Assembly, while the MDC-T spokesperson, Mr Kalpani Phugeni, will be in Senate, as their names form part of the list that include former legislators who were gazetted as replacements.
“The public is hereby notified, in terms of section 39 (6) of the Electoral Act (Chapter2:13) that the MDC party has nominated party list members of the National Assembly and the Senate listed in the schedules below to fill in the vacancies in the National Assembly and the Senate that occurred following the recall by the MDC-T of the incumbent on the grounds that they had ceased to be members of that party,” reads the notice published by Justice Chigumba.
“Any voter wishing to object to the nominations of the members may lodge them in writing with the Chief Elections Officer, at Mahachi Quantum Building, corner Kaguvi Street and Jason Moyo Avenue, Harare or post them to Private Bag 7782, Causeway within a period of 14 days from the date of publication of this notice, setting forth the reason(s) for the objection(s).”
Besides Dr Khupe and Mr Phugeni, other names published are Yvonne Winfielda Musarurwa, Lindani Moyo, January Sawuke, Memory Munochinzwa, Lwazi Sibanda, Sipho Mokone, Molly Dorothy Ndlovu, Tamani Moyo, Gertrude Moyo, Piniel Denga, Chief Ndluvu, Nomalanga Khumalo and Teti Chisorochengwe.
Mrs Khumalo was elected Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly in 2008 on an MDC-T ticket, while Mr Denga and Ms Sibanda are former legislators. Senators elected on the party lists and the extra women Members in the National Assembly elected by proportional representation are chosen by political parties in proportion to the votes received by their candidates in the constituency elections to the National Assembly.
If one of these seats falls vacant, the original party nominates the successor.
Those being replaced in the National Assembly are: Thabitha Khumalo, Virginia Zengeya, Anna Myambo, Bacillia Majaya, Machirarwa Mugidho, Francisca Ncube and Nomathemba Ndlovu. In the Senate, Siphiwe Ncube, Gideon Shoko, Helen Zivira, Keresencia Chabuka, Tapfumaneyi Wunganayi, Herbert Sinampande, Meliwe Phuti and Lilian Timveous will be replaced.
The legislators were recalled in terms of a constitutional provision that declares seats held by members of the party that sponsored them in the last election vacant if the party writes to the Speaker of the National Assembly or to the Senate President to declare that the persons no longer represent that party.
Khupe was rejected by Zimbabweans in 2018 elections. She performed dismally in the presidential election in which she polled 45 000 votes only. Her party, MDC-T, failed to win even a single local government seat. She is now causing havoc in Nelson Chamisa’s MDC Alliance while riding on a controversial court rulling. However Chamisa remains the most popular political figure in Zimbabwe as the nation loves him.