Biti saga: Parly Speaker chickens out

HARARE - Speaker of the House of Assembly Jacob Mudenda yesterday washed his hands off the raging dispute in the MDC pitting opposition leader Morgan

Tsvangirai and expelled secretary-general Tendai Biti, referring the stand-off to the courts of law.

Tsvangirai had sought to recall from Parliament nine of his 91 legislators who unsuccessfully attempted to topple him in a dispute characterised by separate suspensions, counter suspensions and expulsions.

Mudenda blasted the media for running stories “relentlessly misquoting the Speaker that he promised to make a ruling, even giving a deadline of Thursday.”

“No such ruling arises but only a decision,” he said.

In a letter to Mudenda sent last weekend, Thokozani Khupe, the opposition leader in the house, advised Mudenda that the party had the sovereign right to recall Harare East legislator Tendai Biti and his co-conspirators Solomon Madzore, Dzivaresekwa; Paul Madzore, Glen View South; Moses Manyengavana, Highfield West; Willias Madzimure, Kambuzuma; Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, Lobengula; Bekithemba Nyathi, Pelandaba-Mpopoma; Evelyn Masaiti, proportional representative; Watchy Sibanda,  proportional representative; Settlement Chikwinya, Mbizo; and Reggie, Moyo, Luveve.

Khupe advised Mudenda to disregard Biti’s letter fired off earlier last week which sought to protect him and eight other legislators from recall.

Biti wrote to Mudenda saying he had been mandated by his national council to inform the Speaker that “no one in the MDC other than the secretary-general has a right to write to you on any issue with respect to our members of parliament particularly in terms of Section 129 of the Constitution”.

Biti said Tsvangirai needed a court order to overturn the decision of the “national council meeting” of April 26, 2014 held at Mandel Training Centre in Harare, which the Tsvangirai-led group dismissed as a “bogus” gathering.

Mudenda yesterday said he could only make a decision and not a ruling.

“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,” Mudenda said in a statement.

Describing the MDC infighting as an internal matter not warranting Parliament’s involvement, Mudenda, who is also a Zanu PF politburo member, said the august House has no jurisdiction over the matter.

“Neither the honourable president of Senate nor the Speaker of the National House of 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,” Mudenda said.

“I have accordingly responded to the two letters from the honourable Biti and the honourable Khupe informing them accordingly.”

Mudenda said the two letters from the Biti and Khupe camps contained no legal issues.

Following the expulsion of Biti from the MDC, along with other legislators who participated in the failed coup bid, Tsvangirai’s camp moved to have the MPs expelled in terms of section 129 (1) (k) of the Constitution, which states that: “The seat of a Member of Parliament becomes vacant if the member has ceased to belong to the political party of which he or she was a member when elected to Parliament and the political party concerned, by written notice to the Speaker or the President of Senate, as the case may be, has declared that the Member has ceased to belong to it.”

Jacob Mafume, spokesman of Biti’s team, told the Daily News the decision by the Speaker “vindicates what we have been saying all along that there will not be a recall.”

“This is a factual dispute that has to be resolved by the courts,” Mafume said.

“Unfortunately, our colleagues are being advised by bush lawyers who come to the startling and self-defeating conclusion that when they are suspended, they say a person has formed a political party. It is a conclusion that defies all logic and reason.”

Douglas Mwonzora, the Tsvangirai-led MDC spokesperson, said they reserved the right to recall the rebellious MPs.

“We are glad that the Speaker has refused to endorse Biti’s wrong interpretation of the law,” Mwonzora said.

“The Speaker has not said in his ruling that the MDC has no right to recall its Members of Parliament.

“He has not endorsed Biti’s claim that he is the person who has the power to recall MDC MPs. For that reason, the door has been kept open for the MDC to recall any Member of Parliament who has ceased to be its member. In the next few days, the MDC is therefore going to formally communicate with the Speaker its decision to recall the concerned Members of Parliament.”

Mwonzora claimed that there were talks underway with some of the renegade legislators who wanted to return to the “big tent.”

He did not name the legislators who he said, had indicated an intention to return to the Tsvangirai-led MDC fold.

Comments (37)

Mudenda did not chicken out. Its a pity the ill advised Tsvangson was again humiliated by the brilliant Biti who led him into making a very unintelligent and uneducated move in engaging the Speaker in the first place. Once again Tsvangson has been hit by the brilliant Biti Tsunami and he and his followers, this paper included , are reeling like headless chickens.

Pretty - 9 May 2014

Pretty which Tsunami are you talking about. That ailing sick Biti. Aids dzenyu idzi kikikiki . Munhu akadzidza kudaro asingaziwi kuti kunoshandiswa ma condom

Dread - 9 May 2014

"brilliant" Biti??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? baba wangu Chirandu iwe!

JACK - 9 May 2014

There is nothing brilliant about Biti really. This whole saga is going according to script and that script does not belong to Biti. VaBiti vakapiwa mari and he is only paying his dues. He has to deliver Tsvangirayi's head on a plate.

Chipikiri - 9 May 2014

oh oh oh oh oh oh popopopopopo "brilliant Biti" maiwee,

chinoz - 9 May 2014

Dont see the briliance that some are singing and dancing about. The speaker said he cannot make a decision since he is not the competent authority to handle intra-party disputes. At least he recognized that there is a dispute of which is the legitimate leadership of the MDC. He didn't say the MPs cannot be recalled or recalled. All he said sort the legitimacy issues in court. If the court decides that Biti's faction is the legitimate leadership thats when the we can tok of briliance, Bt if the courts decides otherwise, then that brilliance is......? Interpret issues well. if one rescuses himself from making a rulling it doesn't either of the parties in the dispute has won-- common sense.

VISION 2020 - 9 May 2014

@Pretty. I think you are commenting you bedroom issues with Biti not politics. Please note that your bedroom issues with biti are your private stuff.

paul - 9 May 2014

Save musacheuka muridzo

Codza - 9 May 2014

if he was brilliant why are we where we are?? pretty this is your question to answer.

nyanga - 9 May 2014

Pretty - those 9 or 10 or 11 MPs are like MPs without portfolios. That is how stupid they are. They are not representing anyone. Handiti vakaenda ku rally where only 50 people attended. Maybe va zukuru, neva kwasha vavo who attended in sympathy of hama dzavo. So Pretty I hope you are not as stupid as well!

Dereck - 9 May 2014

infact mudenda is doin wat he has been assigned to do by his party....further fuelling divisions within the MDC T with the sole purpose of destroying Tsvangirai.Biti is being used and he knows that but he cannot go back anymore.He has realised that he is sinking into political oblivion so he wants to drag Tsvangirai down with him.This has been well planned so that it ends in the courts and as far as i know the courts , a Tsvangirai victory will be suppreessed at all costs to embarass him.That is why Biti is advocating for the courts and everything will be made to offer an immunity to the MPs in question so that those who are fearing the repurcations will be free to cross over from Tsvangirai to Biti...this is well calculated

labido - 9 May 2014

kunyepera kupenga uko mbiti go hang nonsence

tototo - 9 May 2014

zvino pane anekumusha kusina aids muasa sekane chawana mumwe nhasi chirikwakowo. just bass on the facts ambokuti muroyi ndiyani

dinnb - 9 May 2014

Brilliant, what brilliance, sleeping with woman without protection...haaa suka. Anywhere, bitiis headed for the political dustbins, just like welsh, prisc and patners

Adrianne - 9 May 2014

tsvangirai hauhwine any court case in Zim my friend. its well calculated, this is your end. in 2018 we wont see your on ballot papers. mark my words

wind - 9 May 2014

tsvangison uchangosara ne support ye daily news chete

wind - 9 May 2014

"Chickens Out"?? that's the phrase you decide to use? Tipeiwo ma serious dailynews

Twimbo - 9 May 2014

This kadaily news is a shameless and direct spokesperson of Morgan Tsvangirai, not even the MDC. Hamunyare kuzonyanya kubva mati kwati kwati. Why not balance issues here and there. Even herald plays second fiddle.

Tshotsha - 9 May 2014

This kaDaily News paper is a shameless and direct mouthpiece of Morgan Tsvangirai the person, not even MDC. Ko hamunyare here kubva mati kwati kwati. Asi ndiyo regime change mission inoita kuti mudaro here. It reminds me of your headline on the eve of July 31 elections. It was as if you knew something, only for us to discover that you are brainless supporters who mislead Tsvangison into being naïve and unstrategic

Tshotsha - 9 May 2014

I think this @Tshotsha or is it Tsotsi person has taken leave of his/her senses. If Herald is that good why not just consume content from that paper and leave Daily News alone?

Kt - 9 May 2014

Brilliant in not seeing bright things. It would have been a surprise for the speaker to take action on the MPs. That is asking for too much from a ZANU PF speaker.

mambo - 9 May 2014

Hapana kugona kwaaita vudanda hwake Biti kutengesera musangano ZANU PF . Vanoda nyaya itore nguva vagowana nyaya dai taenda kumaelection vadhliwa so ZANU yozoshaiwa zvaokutaura . Tinoti bhora rakatambwa kare nemaZANU naBiti ndinoti maCdes regai varimo ngativakei mastructures edu tirizii takamiririra 2018 . Uchazovona vumari hwemadonor hwapera voda kudzoka musangano sanaWiwa tozviziva . Patishara macdes ngatitambei bhora zvakanaka tisamhanyira kupa zvikudhla vanhu vakaita sanaWiwa navamwe tinoputsa musangano tisati tasvika 2018

MukarangawekuMberengwa - 9 May 2014

MY POINT IS THAT WHATEVER THE END OF THIS, THE HUMPTY DUMPTY FORMER PRIME MINISTER TSVANGIRAI WILL LOSE HIS OVERRATED AURA. BITI AND HIS HENCHMEN AND CAMP FOLLOWERS ARE UNLIKELY TO GET THEIR INTENTIONS. THE WAY I SEE IT IS THAT ZANU(PF) WILL BY DEFAULT FORTIFY ITS STRONGHOLD ON THE POLITICAL PROCESS IN ZIMBABWE.

Rabison Nyundo (THE HAMMER) - 9 May 2014

Biti is pathetic and has no conscience. Iri ndiro rinonzi benzi and there i nothing brilliant about what he is doing. Kupinda mucorruption during the unity government and you thought the evil party would not want you to pay back. It is all coming back full circle. Hauna support Biti and you clowns of the masses. Singing for your supper. Yes Mudenda will not make a ruling becuase he knows you are saving ZANU_PF interests by all this confusion. You are now in the LUCIFER camp so it is no surprise the way the speaker has responded. VanaBiti. Selfish moron.

vongai - 9 May 2014

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samuel - 9 May 2014

"50 pple gathered for Biti, Mutare" Discuss. -Mutare is a large city -it approx to 74 000 pple -reg voters 45 000 -compare with Epworth were 100ds of ths gathered -be objective guys in DISCUSSION

COBRA - 9 May 2014

The learned lawyer biti. Why dont you learn from the Anglican Church Saga. Do you ever read papers. Shame on you.

GM - 9 May 2014

We all can say what we think remember that GOD's will always prevails at the end like the Anglican Church saga? To GOD be the glory

Baba Shamie - 10 May 2014

Aids is not about condoms bra wami , lawe ingakubamba tshomi ,how faithful is your partner ? seka chirema wafa .Aids and politics do not mix.

mariyeti mpala - 10 May 2014

Why are pple not objective? Where does Zanu PF come in-in all this madness? When did Biti suddenly become Zanu PF? Why do you want Mudenda to act in an uncostitutional manner? Let MDC learn to shoulder its own mistakes. The problem is that MDC supporters think that Morgan is always right and above the law. Leave Zanu PF out of this please. Morgan should just put his house in order.

ZimboMEMA - 10 May 2014

Of course the Speaker did not chicken out but made strategic legal and political decisions not to meddle in MDC-T affairs at this point in time. In any case, Mudenda is a ZANU PF official who cannot be seen chasing MDC-T members out of parliament. That's unethical.

Msholozi - 11 May 2014

The Speaker knows very well he has a duty to decide on the fate of the 9 MPs, who are at the centre of the 'split' of MDC. In my opinion the decision he has to make will favour Mr Tsvangirai. But then if the Speaker rules or decides in favour of Mr Tsvangirai, he would be going against his party's plot to destroy the MDC. Also this would embarrass his party. The fact of the matter is that we have a Judge (the Speaker) who is an interested party in the matter.(The referee is a player). Normally he has to recuse himself from dealing with the matter but then this is Zimbabwe, there is always something, some ambiguity, loophole in our laws and that is why we are in this situation we are in today. Our laws are simply vague, made in a cunning way to give room enough for manipulation . The matter at hand for the Speaker is simple. RECALL or NO RECALL, and by referring the matter to the courts its a simple act of hiding behind one's finger. We have previous cases, some of them involving his party where "rebels" were dealt with swiftly, what has changed? The fact that its not ZANU involved? Our office bearers should learn to be consistent, but above all HONOURABLE. If the parties' letters have no legal issues then why refer them to the courts, which court has power to deal with issues that are NOT legal.

mosquito - 11 May 2014

I thought Biti informed us that they would soon be coming up with a name for their new party and yet here is Mafume their spokesperson saying they have not formed a political party. Stop trying to confuse us you lot and just be the opportunists that you are, I'me sure you are being paid a lot for all the confusion and mess you're making. We don't need that, we need progress and real change.

Dr Know - 12 May 2014

see now there is confusing,some saying BITI some Tsvangirai but to tell the truth MDC missed it somewhere and where it missed is it dinned with the devil that is ZANU PF so the devil is a liar.They should stop this blame game immedialy and regroup again or they are on the verge of extinction.To BITI i say your idea is right but u are wrongly implementing it,thus the results u are to get also are likely to be wrong.To Tsvangison i won,t sway much but mudhara please if u are not ashamed of what happened to u on july 31 then what are u ashamed of to step down.

bob - 16 May 2014

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