Three ruling Zanu-PF members of parliament, Mwenezi East’s Kudakwashe Bhasikiti, Marondera Central’s Ray Kaukonde and Guruve North's David Butau, have been recalled from Zimbabwe’s House of Assembly.
Acting Speaker of the House of Assembly, Melody Dziva, made the announcement Thursday and Bhasikiti, the only member who was in attendance left parliament in a huff.
Last month, the three were also expelled from the ruling party for allegedly backing ousted former Vice President Joice Mujuru. Mrs. Mujuru was fired from both the party and government for allegedly planning to assassinate President Robert Mugabe, a charge she has vehemently denied.
The expulsion of the three legislators was announced by Zanu-PF secretary for information and publicity, Simon Khaya Moyo, soon after a meeting of the ruling party’s Politburo.
The party has also expelled stalwarts such as former secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa, deposed secretary for information and publicity, Rugare Gumbo and former Mashonaland West provincial chairman Temba Mliswa.
In what political analysts and legal experts described as a pre-emptive strike, Bhasikiti had sued President Mugabe and Zanu-PF challenging his expulsion. But Dziva told him that the Speaker could not be stopped from booting him out on the basis of a mere court application.
Provocatively Bhasikiti had hired lawyer and opposition Movement for Democratic Change Renewal Team secretary general, Tendai Biti, to represent him. Bhasikiti, in his founding affidavit, argued that his constitutional rights were infringed and that the decision should be nullified.
He argued that his right to due process and protection of the law as enshrined under Section 56 (1) of the Constitution was violated.
He also claimed that his right to administrative justice under Section 68 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe was also breached. "The decision to expel me, taken by the second respondent in a meeting chaired by the first respondent, is null and void. For starters, I was never subjected to the benefit of due process,"
Bhasikiti said, "I was not charged of any offence and have not received any notice of any charge against me. I have not appeared before any disciplinary hearing, I have not given my side of the story. I do not even know why I have been expelled," reads the affidavit.
He also argued that the Politburo that fired him had no authority to make such a decision. "I was expelled by the Politburo... It does not have any powers of expulsion. Thus the decision to expel me is grossly irregular in that the Politburo that expelled me does not have such powers in terms of the respondent's (Zanu-PF) constitution.”
Human rights groups and political analysts have pointed out that mounting tensions in Zanu-PF over President Mugabe’s succession, First Lady Grace Mugabe’s entrance into mainstream politics, the dire economic crisis and related issues could see Zimbabwe sliding into a failed state.
Economists, industrialists and labor experts are warning of a troubled 2015 for Zimbabwe as many companies are slipping into liquidation or judicial management, throwing thousands of workers out of the job market and invariably pushing the unemployment rate close to 90 percent.