ZANU PF looks set to bag all the 14 vacant parliamentary seats as the MDC-Renewal will also boycott by-elections, should the courts throw away their appeal to re-claim their seats.
The MDC-Renewal approached the Constitutional Court on Wednesday seeking an order overturning a ruling by Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Mudenda expelling the party’s 21 legislators from Parliament.
Mudenda declared their seats vacant and by-elections will be held at a yet-to-be-announced date.
Fourteen seats are up for grabs in the by-election, as the other seven remain in the MDC-T under the proportional representation system.
Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T, which caused the recall of the 21 MDC-Renewal legislators, will not be participating in the by-elections, citing an uneven electoral field favouring the ruling Zanu PF.
MDC-Renewal spokesperson, Jacob Mafume, told Southern Eye that they would boycott the by-elections should their court appeal prove unsuccessful, as there was no guarantee of a free and fair poll.
“We will not participate until the Constitution has been complied with,” he said.
“We believe that these by-elections are not necessary and will not benefit the people of Zimbabwe.
“We cannot participate in elections unless and until there are electoral and other legislative reforms guaranteeing free and fair polls. We cannot continue giving Zanu PF the pretence that everything is normal in this abnormal situation.
“The elections do not benefit anyone, or the country.
“We cannot be seen to be participating in a directionless and fruitfulness election at a time when the economy is screaming, people are suffering and facing a famine of biblical proportions.”
The MDC-Renewal argues that Mudenda and Senate president, Edna Madzongwe could not legally make a ruling kicking them out of Parliament because of a pending case in the courts on the legitimacy of the MDC-T.
The legislators, in their affidavits, argue their expulsion was unconstitutional as there was no proof that they were no longer with the MDC-T and the courts were still to determine the legitimate party between the Tsvangirai-led group and the Tendai Biti faction.
They say the courts should nullify their expulsion and decide on which group was legitimate.
Welshman Ncube’s MDC has also indicated that it will boycott the polls.