The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) said it will go ahead with replacing recalled MDC Alliance legislators with nominees from the judicially-created MDC-T led by Thokozani Khupe unless a court order stops the process.
ZEC chief elections officer Utoile Silaigwana said they will proceed with the process as prescribed by the Electoral Act. Silaigwana said:
The Commission has no discretion as to whether the process should or should not commence. Once a notice is given and received by ZEC, as prescribed in section 39(3) of the Electoral Act, the process … must be carried out, lest ZEC is in breach of the law.
Silaigwana was responding to concerns raised by Zimbabwe Elections Support Network (ZESN) chairperson Andrew Makoni who had said ZEC must wait until ongoing court challenges against the replacements were finalised.
The Nelson Chamisa-led MDC Alliance has already lodged an objection to the process, saying the MDC-T has no right to replace or even recall members elected under its name, banner and logo.
Khupe is expected to bounce back into Parliament as Leader of the Lower House even though she contested and lost in the 2018 presidential elections.