The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has said it is moving ahead with filling proportional representation (PR) vacant seats which arose after the Thokozani Khupe-led MDC-T expelled several MDC Alliance MPs linked to Nelson Chamisa from Parliament.
In a statement, ZEC Chief Elections Officer Utoile Silaigwana said the Commission is bound to follow the provisions of the Electoral Act to fill in the PR vacancies unless a court order expressly enjoins it to refrain from doing so. Silaigwana said the Commission has received no such order from the court and must thus pursue its mandate as per the dictates of the law.
He added that the filling of proportional representation seats has been taken noting that the process will not violate regulations put in place by Government to curb the spread of COVID-19. Silaigwana concluded:
All other electoral activities which involve gathering of people with the potential to fuel the spread of COVID-19, however, remain suspended.
This position will remain in place until the operationalisation of the ZEC COVID-19 Policy on Elections which sets out measures on conducting elections without posing a danger to public health.
Over 20 MDC Alliance parliamentarians were expelled from Parliament by the MDC-T using a controversial March Supreme Court ruling which nullified Nelson Chamisa’s elevation to the party presidency following the death of Morgan Tsvangirai in 2018.
The senators who were expelled include Siphiwe Ncube, Gideon Shoko, Helen Zivira, Keresencia Chabuka, Tapfumaneyi Wunganayi, Herbert Sinampande, Meliwe Phuti and Lilian Timveous.
In the National Assembly, the MDC-T expelled Thabitha Khumalo, Virginia Zengeya, Anna Myambo, Bacillia Majaya, Machirarwa Mugidho, Francisca Ncube and Nomathemba Ndlovu.