PARLIAMENT has suspended MDC-T MP for Chipinge East Mathias Mlambo after he was recently jailed for obstructing justice and inciting political violence.
Mlambo â€” who is out of prison after appealing against the conviction and sentence â€”was on Wednesday served with the suspension letter by the clerk of parliament, Austin Zvoma.
The legislator was sentence to an effective seven months imprisonment for obstructing the course of justice and inciting violence at a funeral of an MDC-T activist in Chipinge in April.
In the letter of suspension signed by Zvoma, Mlambo was suspended in line with provisions of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
Zvoma in the letter said Section 42(1) of the constitution provided that if an MP is convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced by a court to a term of six months or more, such member shall cease forthwith to exercise his functions and to be entitled to any remuneration as a member and his seat shall become vacant at the expiration of 30 days from the date of such sentence.
â€œWe have been advised that you have noted an appeal with the Supreme Court within the prescribed 30 days and that you are currently out on bail pending appeal. In terms of Section 42 (2) the question whether you should vacate your seat shall therefore not be determined until the abandonment or final disposal of such appeal,â€ Zvoma wrote. â€œAccordingly, I hereby notify you of your suspension from the membership of parliament with immediate effect in terms of Section 42(1) of the constitution.â€
The MDC-T yesterday reacted angrily to the suspension of Mlambo with the partyâ€™s secretary for justice, legal and parliamentary affairs Innocent Gonese saying their MP was convicted on trumped up charges politically motivated to reduce the number of the partyâ€™s legislators in parliament. Â
â€œApart from Hon Mlambo, Hon Shuah Mudiwa and Hon Meki Makuyana have been convicted and sentenced to terms of imprisonment in excess of six months to ensure that they are prevented from attending parliament,â€ charged Gonese. â€œThere is therefore a need to revisit the provisions of Section 41 of the constitution which purport to deprive a member of parliament of his or her rights as an elected representative of the people where he or she has noted an appeal. Equally it deprives constituencies of representation in circumstances where the conviction may be set aside or the sentence reduced to less that six months.â€
BY WONGAI ZHANGAZHA