It’s over, Zvoma tells MPs and Senators

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THE Clerk of Parliament, Austin Zvoma, has advised MPs and senators of the imminent dissolution of the bicameral house on or before June 29, a development which resonates with Zanu PF’s push for an early election.

Report by Njabulo Ncube

President Robert Mugabe has been agitating for elections this month to bring closure to the coalition government, contrary to the stance by his partners in the power-sharing pact who want certain legislative and electoral reforms implemented before polls.

Recently the Constitutional Court ordered Mugabe to call for elections by July 31 following an urgent application by a Harare man, Jealousy Mawarire.

But information obtained by Southern Eye yesterday indicates that Zvoma alerted all legislators on Monday about the pending dissolution of the august house, citing the expiry of their terms of office on June 29, 2013.

In the same notice, which the Southern Eye had a glimpse of, the Clerk of Parliament advised the legislators of the impending cessation of their parliamentary benefits.

“Please be advised that, unless the President dissolves Parliament earlier, your term of office as a Senator/Member of the House of Assembly will expire at midnight on June 29, 2013 when Parliament shall stand dissolved by operation of the law,” Zvoma wrote.

“Accordingly, the salary and benefits attached to Members of Parliament will cease upon the dissolution of Parliament.

“This advance notice is intended to give you adequate time to adjust to the changed circumstances occasioned by the dissolution of Parliament.”

He cited Section 63 of the Constitution which states: “Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the President may at any time dissolve Parliament.

“Parliament, unless sooner dissolved, shall last for five years, which period shall be deemed to commence on the day the person elected as President enters office in terms of Section 28(5) after an election referred to in Section 28(3)(a), and shall then stand dissolved.”

There are concerns among legislators that dissolution of Parliament will come without any resolution on their outstanding allowances.

Parliamentarians claim they are owed thousands of dollars, while Treasury insists that it does not have money to pay them.
Legislators are expected to pass key electoral laws before the dissolution of Parliament.