Controversy surrounding election of Lovemore Moyo as Speaker.

A member of the Mutambara-MDC formation Senator David Coltart has charged that the recent election of Lovemore Moyo as the new Speaker of Parliament was illegal. However, the Tsvangirai MDC Spokesperson Nelson Chamisa described Coltart's statement as "hogwash," and "total rubbish."


The Tsvangirai-MDC beat ZANU PF for the first time in Zimbabwe’s history for the position of Speaker last month. Moyo, who is the party’s National Chairperson, beat Paul Temba Nyathi from the Mutambara-MDC by 110 seats to 98.


Coltart claimed on Tuesday that the vote was illegal on the basis that some Tsvangirai-MDC MPs showed their ballot to their Vice President Thokozani Khupe, and this according to him broke section 6 of the Standing Orders of the Parliament of Zimbabwe that says the vote should be secret.  He said this is a Commonwealth-wide provision that safeguards the central principle of a democratic government and ensures that a neutral Speaker is elected.


The Senator alleged: “On the evening of Sunday the 24th August a meeting of the MDC T Parliamentary caucus was held and its members were threatened with expulsion and the loss of their Parliamentary seats if they voted for Paul (Temba Nyathi).” Coltart believes if the Tsvangirai MDC hadn’t broken the rules some of the MPs would have voted for Nyathi.


This is an allegation that has been roundly denied by the Tsvangirai MDC.

The party said they had agreed that Moyo was their candidate and it is not feasible to say that some of their MPs would have voted for another candidate. Chamisa said Coltart was not in parliament when the election was held. He accused the Senator of ‘working with ZANU PF to reverse their victory.’  


Chamisa said: “I can tell you that all the MPs, including Mr Mnangagwa who is usually very difficult to accept and understand processes, was very happy with the voting process to the extent that he congratulated our speaker.”


The spokesperson said the Mutambara formation has not been able to live with the reality that they were defeated in a fair political process, and are now abusing and misinterpreting the law.


The Tsvangirai MDC won 100 seats in parliamentary elections in March. ZANU PF received 99, Mutambara MDC 10, and the remaining seat is held by an independent.


Political Commentator Professor John Makumbe said because of the composition of the parliamentarians it is a fact that MPs from the other parties voted for the Tsvangirai MDC.  Makumbe asked: “If it is true that is what they did, how come 110 votes were cast for Lovemore Moyo? Did the ZANU PF people and the Mutambara people who voted for Lovemore Moyo also show their ballot papers to Thokozani Khupe?”

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