Controvesial Professor Jonathan Moyo wants a reversal of the election
of the speaker of parliament on August 25 election. The plan is being spearheaded by a number of hawks within Zanu-PF. It is alleged they are conniving with Tsholotsho North independent MP, Prof Moyo with the ultimate objective of bringing the tenure of Lovemore Moyo as Speaker of the 7th Parliament of Zimbabwe to a premature and inglorious end.
Prof Moyo’s lawyer Terrence Hussein has demanded that the High Court Registrar immediately sets down a date to hear a court application in this
regard. Speaker Moyo’s lawyer, Chris Mhike of law firm Atherstone and Cook,
says they are eagerly awaiting a date for the hearing. “They have requested for the matter to be set down,” Mhike said. “They sent a notice of set down to the Registrar of the High Court a few days ago. We await the allocation of a date by the High Court.”
The MDC chairman beat former parliamentarian Paul Themba-Nyathi, whose
candidacy for the Speaker’s post was sponsored by his party, the breakaway
faction of the MDC led by Arthur Mutambara and had the full backing of
President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF.
MDC’s position shaky
The legal challenge means the MDC’s control of Parliament stands doubtful in
the face of the constitutional court challenge against the election of its national chairman which the applicants claim was in contravention of Article 6 of the Parliamentary Standing Orders.
Lovemore Moyo was elected Speaker by a surprising 110 votes to the 98
clinched by the Mutambara MDC’s candidate, Themba-Nyathi, following a
surprise change in allegiance on the part of the 10 MPs representing the
breakaway faction of the MDC as parliamentarians cast their ballot.
The distribution of the votes left little doubt of what exactly had happened. The 10 legislators of the Mutambara camp had gone against their party en masse and voted for the candidate of the rival MDC party led by Morgan Tsvangirai, leaving their own candidate to receive the overwhelming but futile support of all Zanu-PF legislators.
Zanu-PF strategically refrained from fielding a candidate but ordered its
legislators to vote for the Mutambara faction’s candidate, Themba-Nyathi,
instead. A combination of the Zanu -PF MPs and those of the Mutambara
faction would have delivered the required mortal blow on the mainstream MDC candidate on that crucial day, if the Mutambara MPs had not changed their allegiance.
The strategy was thwarted by the rebellion of the defectors. The tables were
effectively turned on Mutambara when his MPs left him and aligned
themselves with Tsvangirai by turning their back on Themba-Nyathi to vote
Reports suggest Mutambara MPs had shown their ballot papers to mainstream
MDC chief whip, Innocent Gonese and MDC vice president Thokozani Khupe, to assure them that they had, indeed, changed allegiance and voted for Moyo.
Zanu-PF and the Mutambara MDC have quietly fumed since then, culminating in the latest court challenge.
The papers state that the applicants should have brought a motion in Parliament seeking the reversal of the Speaker vote instead of rushing to
the law courts.
Speaker Lovemore Moyo has also queried Prof Jonathan Moyo’s standing in the case and questioned why the aggrieved party, Themba-Nyathi, had not brought the challenge and what Prof Moyo’s interest was in the matter.
Challenging the speaker’s seat with only ten seats, many Zimbabweans think that MDC Mutambara might end up being absorbed into the Zanu pf political machine.