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Mount Pleasant and Harare East constituencies declared vacabt

by Jonathan Moyo
16 Feb 2024 at 15:07hrs | Views
The Speaker of Parliament, Advocate Jacob Mudenda, announced in the National Assembly that vacancies exist in the membership of Parliament in respect of Mount Pleasant and Harare East constituencies, following the resignations of Fadzayi Mahere on 29 January 2024 and Allan Markham on 31 January 2024.

Mahere and Markham resigned in solidarity with Nelson Chamisa who abruptly quit on 25 January 2024 and ran away from the leadership of his CCC party, which was formed after the 23/24 August 2023 harmonised general election based on a two-page constitution which named Chamisa as the sole constitutional office-bearer.

Below is the announcement made by the Speaker, as captured in yesterday's Hansard:

'THE HON. SPEAKER: On the 29th and 31st of January 2024, Parliament received letters from Ms. Fadzayi Mahere and Mr. Allan Markham respectively, advising of their resignation from Parliament with immediate effect, in accordance with Section 129 (1) (b) of the Constitution.

Section 129 (1) (b) states as follows: "… a seat of a Member of Parliament becomes vacant upon the Member resigning his or her seat by written notice to the President of the Senate or to the Speaker, as the case may be…". Ms. Mahere was a Member of Parliament for Mount Pleasant Constituency and Mr. Markham was a Member of Parliament for Harare East Constituency. Consequently, vacancies exist in the membership of Parliament, in respect of the two constituencies, and in terms of Section 39 (1) of the Electoral Act [Chapter 2:13], His Excellency the President and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, shall duly be notified in writing of these vacancies.'

Regarding when the by-elections in the two constituencies might be held, section 158(3) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that:

Polling in by-elections to Parliament and local authorities must take place within ninety days after the vacancies occurred unless the vacancies occur within nine months before a general election is due to be held, in which event the vacancies may remain unfilled until the general election.

Accordingly, ZEC is expected to notify Mnangagwa for the by-elections in Mount Pleasant and Harare East to be held within the prescribed period.

It remains to be seen whether Mahere and Markham will seek to contest in the by-elections that they themselves have triggered!

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