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Ousted Zimbabwean Speaker Reclaims Post in Tense Vote

Of the 199 votes cast by lawmakers in an all-important Tuesday vote, Lovemore Moyo garnered 105 ballots against Simon Khaya Moyo’s 93.

Dethroned Zimbabwean Speaker of Parliament, Lovemore Moyo reclaimed his position Tuesday in a tensely-contested vote, beating rival Simon Khaya Moyo who represented President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party.

Moyo, chairman of the Movement for Democratic Change formation led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, was elected to the position in 2008, but was removed last month after the Supreme Court ruled that his election was unprocedural.

Of the 199 votes cast by lawmakers Tuesday, Moyo garnered 105 ballots against Khaya Moyo’s 93. The Tsvangirai MDC had alleged earlier that 15 of its Members of Parliament had been targeted for bribery by ZANU-PF agents to sway their votes.

The party's parliamentary whip Innocent Gonese told reporters that five lawmakers had come forward and surrendered US$5,000 each received under a bribery scheme allegedly orchestrated by ZANU-PF MP Jonathan Moyo.

Sources said four ZANU-PF lawmakers were suspected to have voted with the MDC while lawmakers from the MDC formation led by Industry Minister Welshman Ncube kept their promise to support the former Speaker.

Moyo told VOA Studio 7 that he was excited about his return. "I'm happy to be back... As I have done before, I will work with everyone regardless of their affiliation," said Moyo.

Political commentator Effie Dlela Ncube said Moyo's victory was good for democracy since he had been removed under dubious circumstances.

"This is democracy at work. Moyo's victory confounds all those who plotted his ouster," said Ncube.