Harare, May 9, 2014 – The Speaker of the National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda, says the letters presented to him by the warring MDC-T factions regarding recalling some members of the party from Parliament can only be dealt with by the courts.
“I have concluded that the letters contain no legal issues that require the Honourable President of the Senate or the Honourable Speaker of the National Assembly to determine or rule on whether or not to act pursuant to the provisions of Section 129(1)(K) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe,” he said in a statement.
“In any case, neither the Honourable President of the Senate nor the Honourable Speaker of the National Assembly has any authority and role to play in the internal disciplinary actions, disputes or differences within political parties, which matters may be appropriately dealt with by a competent court.”
He said he has responded to Mr Tendai Biti and Ms Thokozani Khupe informing them accordingly.
“The media has been relentlessly misquoting the Speaker that he promised to make a ruling, even giving a deadline of Thursday the 8th of May 2014. No such ruling arises but only a decision,” the statement read.
It also said Mudenda received separate letters from Mr Biti and Ms Khupe dated 28th April 2014 and 2nd May 2014 respectively on internal differences within the MDC-T party.
Both letters sought to inform the Speaker of Parliament of separate expulsions of MDC-T members, some of whom are not Members of Parliament, and who ought to be the responsible authority for re-calling members of their party from Parliament in terms of Section 129(1)(K) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
The latest developments follow the power struggles within the MDC-T which saw a faction led by secretary-general Tendai Biti expel Morgan Tsvangirai and several others from the party for abuse of power, misappropriating party funds and disregarding the party constitution.
The Tsvangirai faction hit back, also announcing it had expelled Biti and his team from the party.