THE MDC-T has declared that if the Bikita West seat held by Munyaradzi Kereke is not declared vacant, it will approach the courts to force the Speaker of Parliament’s hand.
MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora said according to the Constitution the seat was now vacant following Kereke’s re-admission to the ruling party.
Mwonzora cited Section 129 (1)(1) which states that . . . the seat of a Member of Parliament becomes vacant — if the member, not having been a member of a political party when he or she was elected to Parliament, becomes a member of a political party”.
”By virtue of him rejoining Zanu PF, he has relinquished his seat and there must be a by-election in accordance with the Constitution,” he said.
“Not holding a by-election will be a violation of the Constitution.”
Kereke contested and won the Bikita West parliamentary seat on a Zanu PF ticket, but later indicated he was an independent and not a member of the party when it tried to have him expelled.
Mwonzora said the MDC-T would go to court to force a by-election if it was not held.
“We will take the legal route because part of the programmes of the MDC-T is to make sure that the Constitution is fully implemented,” he said.
Kereke and the Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Mudenda, could not be reached for comment.
Kereke held the seat as an independent candidate after Zanu PF barred him from representing the party in last year’s election.
Kereke was expelled from Parliament in October after then Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa wrote to Mudenda notifying him that he was no longer a member of Zanu PF.
He was readmitted last month following a Constitutional Court ruling challenging his expulsion. Kereke challenged his dismissal arguing that he had ceased to be a Zanu PF member when he contested the election.
The MDC-T is still smarting from the embarrassment of not calling for a by-election in a constituency held by ousted Vice-President Joice Mujuru.
The seat was only declared vacant this month, instead of September 2013.