MDC-T acting president Dr Thokozani Khupe is set to resume her role as leader of the opposition in Parliament after she and 14 others from her party were sworn-in yesterday as members of the National Assembly and Senate.
They were nominated by the party to replace those in proportional representation seats who were recalled.
Senators and the block of special proportional representation seats in the National Assembly reserved for women are filled from party lists based on the proportion of votes party candidates for constituencies won in the last general election.
Vacant constituency seats in the National Assembly are filled through by-elections. In the National Assembly, Dr Khupe was sworn in together with Memory Munochinzwa, January Sawuke, Lindani Moyo, Sipho Makone, Yvonne Musarurwa and Lwazi Sibanda.
In the Senate, MDC-T spokesperson Kalpani Phugeni was sworn in together with Piniel Denga, Chief Ndlovu, Nomalanga Khumalo, Teti Chisorochengwe, Gertrude Moyo, Tamani Moyo and Molly Dorothy Ndlovu.
Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda and Senate President Cde Marble Chinomona told both Houses separately that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) had written to the Clerk of Parliament, Mr Kennedy Chokuda, notifying him of the persons nominated to fill vacancies that occurred following the recall of MDC-T MPs elected under proportional representation.
In the National Assembly, Mr Chokuda administered the oath while in the Senate, Deputy Clerk of Parliament Ms Helen Dingane presided over the swearing-in ceremony in terms of the Constitution.
Legislators from the MDC-T could be heard ululating as Dr Khupe and her team of legislators walked into the Chamber for the swearing-in. Hatfield MP, Dr Tapiwa Mashakada congratulated Dr Khupe on her return to Parliament.
In an interview after taking oath, Dr Khupe said she would deliver her maiden speech next week spelling out her vision as leader of the opposition.
“I am glad that I am back, but I am going to advance the interests of all the 14,6 million Zimbabweans so that they have a better life,” she said.
“I have been working for the people even if I was outside Parliament. This is an arena where we raise issues concerning people so that they are addressed.
“I am the leader of my political party so nothing has changed. I am back as leader of the opposition in Parliament, by virtue of being the most senior person in Parliament.” Some of the newly sworn MPs were legislators in previous Parliaments.
Ms Khumalo was elected Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly in 2008 on an MDC-T ticket, while Mr Denga and Ms Sibanda are former legislators.
The legislators were recalled in terms of a constitutional provision that declares seats held by members of the party that sponsored them in the last election vacant, if the party writes to the Speaker of the National Assembly or to the Senate President to declare that the persons no longer represented that party. Herald