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Zimbabwe AG Says Unseated Parliamentary Speaker Remains Lawmaker


Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma sought an opinion from Attorney General Johannes Tomana on the former speaker's status following the Supreme Court ruling for plaintiff Jonathan Moyo, a ZANU-PF legislator

Zimbabwe Attorney General Johannes Tomana has told Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma that former speaker Lovemore Moyo, stripped of that office by a Supreme Court decision last week, should revert to his previous status as an ordinary member of parliament, allowing him to vote in the election of a new speaker.

Zvoma sought an opinion from Tomana on Moyo’s status following the Supreme Court ruling for plaintiff Jonathan Moyo of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party. Moyo is a member of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change.

The election of a new speaker will be hotly contested, though. One complication is that ZANU-PF has not filled a non-constituency House seat which it was given under the 2008 Global Political Agreement. With no speaker in place, that could be difficult.

Legal experts are divided as to whether ZANU-PF can appoint a non-constituency member without a speaker to swear in the person who is named.

Attorney General Tomana told VOA Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu that legally speaking, Lovemore Moyo remains a member in full of Parliament.

The House of Assembly will resume sitting on March 22. Zvoma has indicated that the election of a new speaker will be high on the agenda."It might be before March 22 or some date after. I am not in a position to say when it will happen," Zvoma said.

"If we are not ready...for the election, then we may have to make an announcement to members of the House of Assembly to give them a date after March 22 when members will be called to come and elect a speaker," Zvoma said.

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