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Biti says recalls meant to stymie his probe into 'Sakunda corruption'

by Staff reporter
19 Mar 2021 at 18:18hrs | Views
The People's Democratic Party (PDP) asked Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda Wednesday to expel MDC Alliance vice president Tendai Biti and five other legislators who are former members of the opposition party after getting the greenlight from the High Court last week.

Mudenda announced that the obscure outfit led by Lucia Mativenga had sent him a letter seeking the recall of Biti, a lawmaker for Harare East, Settlement Chikwinya, Mbizo, William Madzimire, Kambuzuma, Sichelesile Mahlangu, Pumula, Regai Tsunga, Mutasa South, and Kucaca Phulu, Nkulumane, as they were no longer representing its interests.

The move followed a ruling last Thursday by High Court judge Sylvia Mugomba that Matibenga's faction, which splintered from Biti's formation before the 2018 elections, had the power to recall its former members who are now in the MDC Alliance.

Biti has appealed the ruling at the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, the lawmakers' fate rests with Mudenda who has yet to rule whether they stay or go.

The recalls come at a time when parliament's public accounts committee - chaired by Biti - is probing allegations of endemic corruption at Zesa after Sakunda Holdings was awarded a US$250 million tender to build a diesel power plant in Dema despite not placing a bid.

The tender was initially won by an American company but was later canceled without explanation.

Sakunda Holdings is owned by Kudakwashe Tagwirei, an ally of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Biti was defiant on Wednesday, calling the proposed expulsions "mischievous" and designed to stymie his committee's probe into the alleged corrupt deal.

"They do not have the right to recall us, it is not possible to be chased by a ‘mischievous individual' who has been sent by Emmerson Mnangagwa and Kuda Tagwirei to disrupt our duties in parliament," Biti charged.

"We are going to seat down as MDC Alliance and come up with a strategic solution to remedy this matter."

PDP spokesman Nqobizitha Khumalo insisted they had the power to carry out the recalls, adding they were also going after councilors, who, like the MPs, were elected under the MDC Alliance.

"In September last year, the national council of the PDP under the leadership of madam of Lucia Matibenga held a meeting in Gweru where we decided to recall all members of parliament and councilors who got into those positions on a PDP ticket," he said.

"This is in accordance with 6 (4) (a) of our party Constitution and the Constitution of Zimbabwe. Our constitution says that once a member stops supporting our party or joins another party, automatically they cease to be a member of our party," Khumalo said.

Matibenga's PDP faction contested the last election under the People's Rainbow Coalition which fielded former vice president Joyce Mujuru as its presidential candidate.

Source - zimlive

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