Supreme Court nullifies election of MDC parliament speaker

lovemore_moyo1On Thursday the Supreme Court delivered what ZANU PF MP Jonathan Moyo asked for they overturned the election of the MDCs Lovemore Moyo (Pictured) as Speaker of Parliament.

Jonathan Moyo claimed the August 2008 vote that elected the MDC-T Speaker was not secret and violated parliamentary rules on voting. In 2008, shortly after ZANU PFs defeat to the MDC-T, the smaller faction of the MDC shocked everyone when it cooperated with ZANU PF in seeking the election of its candidate, Paul Themba Nyathi, as speaker. The alliance backfired as furious MPs from the faction backed the MDC-T candidate instead.

Jonathan Moyo challenged the election in court. But in March last year High Court Judge Bharat Patel dismissed the application by Moyo and 3 MDC-N MPs, saying they failed to justify why the speakers election should be nullified. They had only claimed that 6 MDC-T MPs waved their ballot papers in the air before casting their votes. Moyo then appealed against this ruling.

A Harare lawyer told SW Radio Africa that ZANU PF was desperate to manage the succession problem, given Mugabes ailing health, and that was one of the main reasons for overturning the election of an MDC-T speaker of parliament. Its alleged that the 87 year old is battling prostate cancer, something his party denies.

Zimbabwe’s current constitution says that in the event that the president dies in office, the speaker of parliament assumes office and is supposed to call for elections within a period of 180 days. Mugabe is very ill, that’s why they want to take away that power from the MDC, the lawyer told us.

Leading this charge is Jonathan Moyo, who has always been in the thick of things as far as succession politics in ZANU PF is concerned. With a compromised Supreme Court bench made up of judges who have received farms and other benefits, a decision favouring ZANU PF was inevitable.

A senior MDC-T official said Parliament will have to have another election the next time they sit. He said the party still has the numbers to secure the speakership, but ZANU PF has managed to get around this problem. 4 MDC MPs are in police custody. Douglas Mwonzora (Nyanga North), Roger Tazviona (Zhombe), Energy Minister Elton Mangoma (Makoni North) and Gokwe MP Costin Muguti are all locked up on various trumped-up charges.

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