THE MDC led by Industry and Commerce minister Welshman Ncube has lost its role as “kingmaker” in the National Assembly after it recently dismissed a further five MPs for crossing the floor to the rival MDC-T, effectively making its presence in parliament symbolic.
MDC secretary-general Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga (pictured) recently wrote to Speaker of parliament Lovemore Moyo requesting the expulsion of five MPs from the House for seeking nominations on the MDC-T ticket in the next elections.
The five are deputy speaker and Umzingwane MP Nomalanga Khumalo, Tsholotsho South MP Maxwell Dube and his Gwanda North counterpart Zinti Mkandla as well as senators Dalumuzi Khumalo (Lupane) and Kembo Dube (Umzingwane).
The decision to expel the MPs effectively reduces MDC representation in the National Assembly to four, including Ncube and Misihairabwi-Mushonga, critically eroding the party’s influence in the midst of the constitution-making process and ahead of crucial legislative reforms, among them the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, Urban Councils Act and Rural District Councils Act, expected to be done in parliament before it is dissolved on June 29.
The expulsions mean the party has now fired a total of eight MPs since 2009. Njabuliso Mguni, Abednico Bhebhe and Norman Mpofu were expelled in 2009 for voting with MDC-T MPs in elections for Speaker of the National Assembly.
The Speaker is expected to rule on the application soon. Political analysts say the MDC’s relevance in the legislature has now been further weakened by this.
Bulawayo-based analyst Dumisani Nkomo said: “It will be quite tricky for them in that regard but the good thing is that the legislative reform agenda of parliament is more or less a shared process as it is mainly implementation of agreed reforms.”