Biti Reinstated as Member of Parliament by High Court

The High Court has reinstated MDC Alliance vice president and former finance minister Tendai Biti.

Biti was reinstated this afternoon with 5 other former PDP officials as MPs.

The other reinstated legislators are William Madzimure (Kambuzuma), Settlement Chikwinya (Mbizo), Kucaca Ivumile Phulu (Nkulumane), Sichelesile Mahlangu (Phumula) and Regai Tsunga (Mutasa South).

On Thursday, Justice Joseph Mafusire said the termination of the six from parliament was null and void.

The judge reiterated that Rukanda had no authority to recall them from parliament.

“The application can only succeed. The power of recall from parliament in s 129 (1) (k) of the Constitution is reposed in the political party the Member of Parliament was a member of at the time of the election,” Mafusire said.

“The 1st (Rukanda) and 2nd (Lucia Matibenga) respondents were not members of the seventh applicant (PDP) at the time of the 2018 general election. They have no power to recall the applicants.”

As chairman for the public accounts committee, Biti was known for grilling public officials and exposing corruption, including the US$3 billion Command Agriculture scandal whose main perpetrator Kudakwashe Tagwirei of Sakunda Holdings repeatedly stalled his appearance before the committee.

Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda had refused to re-instate the MPs following an earlier court ruling

In March, Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda said he had received a letter from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) purportedly recalling Harare East MP Biti, Settlement Chikwinya, Willias Madzimure, Sichelesile Mahlangu, Regai Tsunga, and Kucaca Phulu from parliament.

The PDP was one of the coalition parties that contested the 2018 elections as MDC Alliance.

Following the election, the party was dissolved as its senior leaders joined the structures of a new full-fledged party called the MDC Alliance.