Alex Tawanda Magaisa, a law lecturer in the UK and the former Chief of Staff in the office of Zimbabwe’s late former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has said the admission of Thokozani Khupe to Parliament exposes the incompetence of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
He speaks as Khupe who is the interim leader of the opposition MDC-T together with six other were this week sworn in to replace recalled MDC Alliance legislators. Magaisa said:
But how could Khupe enter Parliament when the seat she was taking was held by the MDC Alliance? This is where the electoral referee, ZEC comes in. There is incompetence. Then there is bias. ZEC suffers an affliction of both vices and few instances demonstrate this than its handling of the replacement of PR MPs. Here is why:
PR seats are allocated based on the number of votes that a political party wins in a province. 3 political parties won PR seats in the 2018 elections: ZANU PF, MDC Alliance, and the MDC-T, which was led by Khupe at the elections. These political parties submitted party-lists of their PR candidates to ZEC and it was from those lists that winning candidates were selected.
Magaisa observed that ZEC was supposed to invite the MDC Alliance to nominate a replacement, not the current MDC-T led by Khupe since it “never submitted a party-list in the general elections.”
For him, ZEC’s actions are tantamount to “awarding the trophy to a team that never played a match during the competition after losing in the preliminary rounds.”
Magaisa’s assertion, reinvokes the debate on the March Supreme Court ruling on the MDC leadership crisis which observed that MDC Alliance and MDC-T are two factions of one party, MDC.
More: Alex Tawanda Magaisa BSR