Advocate Jacob Francis Mudenda has retained his post as the Speaker of the National Assembly, after beating opposition MDC Hon Paurina Mpariwa. Adv. Mudenda received 179 votes to Hon Mpariwa’s 79. He will be deputised by Hon Tsitsi Gezi, who beat MDC Alliance’s Hon Murisi Zwizwai with 174 votes to 79.
Hon Gezi, is the widow of former Zanu PF national political commissar Border Gezi. She joined politics in 2013 and is the MP for Mashonaland Central (proportional representation).
In the Senate, Mable Chinomona, who was Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly in the Eighth Parliament, got 52 votes, beating MDC Alliance’s Morgan Komichi who received 22 votes. She will be deputised by Mike Nyambuya, who beat MDC Alliance’s Ms Lillian Timveous by 51 votes to 25.
The elections were conducted by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
However, the opposition party members caused delays in the swearing in of Adv Mudenda and Hon Gezi after breaking into songs denouncing Chief Justice Luke Malaba, who presided over the ceremony.
The ceremony was then conducted while the MDC Alliance representatives surrounded Adv Mudenda, drowning his voice in songs as he signed his oath.
In his address after the swearing in, Adv Mudenda congratulated the MPs who made it into the Ninth Parliament. He thanked Members of Parliament who elected him as the Speaker of the National Assembly.
SAPST Executive Director Mr John Makamure hailed the election of Advocate Mudenda.
“I welcome the election of Advocate Jacob Francis Mudenda as Speaker of the National Assembly. I had the privilege to work with Advocate Mudenda during the 8th Parliament and enjoyed a cordial working relationship with him,” he said.
“He opened space in Parliament to various civic groups, NGOs, the academia to engage parliamentarians. We initiated several reforms in key areas such as parliamentary budget oversight and law making which saw the 8th Parliament influencing significant changes to the budget and some pieces of legislation.”
Mr Makamure said he was confident that SAPST and Adv Mudenda will continue to work together to deepen parliamentary reforms and create an institution that is democratic and effective in its constitutional mandate of protecting the Constitution and promoting democratic governance in Zimbabwe.