Jacob Mudenda elected Speaker of the 10th Parliament unopposed

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Jacob Mudenda elected Speaker of the 10th Parliament unopposed
Jacob Mudenda elected Speaker of the 10th Parliament unopposed

By Daniel Chigundu

Zanu PF’s prefered candidate for the position of Speaker of the National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda has been elected unopposed.

Mudenda was Speaker in the just ended 9th Parliament of Zimbabwe.

Section 126 (1) of the Constitution and Standing Order Number 3 require that when the National Assembly first meets after a general election before it proceeds to the dispatch of any other business, it shall elect a presiding officer, not being a Vice President, Minister or a Deputy Minister to be known as the Speaker.

The Speaker shall be elected in accordance with Standing Orders from among persons who are or have been Members of Parliament or are qualified for election as Members of the National Assembly.

When the Clerk of Parliament was satisfied that there was quorum in the House (70 legislators in the House), he called for nominations.

This was despite the fact that Citizens Coalition for Change which is the other party in the National Assembly was not present.

Zanu PF’s Chief Whip in the 9th Parliament Honourable Pupurai Togarepi nominated Jacob Francis Nzwidamilimo Mudenda of Zanu PF to the position of Speaker of Parliament.

The nomination was seconded by Honourable Tatenda Mavetera. And as there were no further nominations for the position, the Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda had no choice but to declare Mudenda duly elected.

‘’Any further nominations? There being no further nominations, I therefore declare Jacob Francis Nzwidamilimo Mudenda duly elected to the office of Speaker,’’ he said. 

Zanu PF has 176 legislators in the National Assembly and Citizens Coalition for Change has 103 legislators.

Technically, even if Citizens Coalition for Change legislators were in the House for the election, Zanu PF was still going to win the position because they have more legislators than the opposition.

However, in an interview, Amos Chibaya of Citizens Coalition for Change said they had informed the Clerk, that there were going to have a caucus to come up with their candidates but were surprise to learn that the elections were done earlier than the scheduled 10 am.

There were hopes that Zanu PF could consider giving the position to a woman, since President Emmerson Mnangagwa has appointed males only as the two Vice Presidents.

Zimbabwe has never had a female Speaker since independence in April 1980.