Plot to oust Bennett
There is a plot to oust absentee MDC-T non-constituency senator and treasurer-general Roy Bennett from his seat in the Upper House.
The Welshman Ncube-led MDC senator for Tsholotsho Believe Gaulle told NewsDay he had been approached by MDC-T senators to move a motion calling on Bennett to be replaced, but was advised against it by party secretary-general Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga.
Gaulle said MDC-T senators wanted a replacement as Bennett has not been attending Senate sittings for more than 21 days, in contravention of Parliamentary Standing Rules and Orders.
According to Gaulle, MDC–T senators fear a backlash from party bigwigs should they move the motion hence their manoeuvres.
The MDC-T senators have also reportedly asked Zanu PF chief whip in the Senate, Tambudzani Mohadi, and Gaulle to move the motion on their behalf.
“MDC-T senators, whom I cannot name for their safety, approached me and asked me to move the motion because they were scared to do it as their party was divided on the issue,” said Gaulle.
“They told me Bennett was refusing to leave the senatorial post whilst there were some MDC-T members who wanted him to be replaced by a female party member, Sibusisiwe Masara.”
He urged MDC-T senators to be brave enough and introduce the motion themselves.
“This is clearly an MDC-T motion and they should come out and not hide behind my back because they went on to take the motion to the Clerk of Parliament without my signature and knowledge,” said Gaulle.
However, MDC-T vice-chairperson Morgan Komichi, who is also a non-constituency senator, yesterday denied there was such a plot within his party.
“I do not know of such a motion from the MDC-T,” said Komichi.
Zanu PF chief whip in the House of Assembly, Joram Gumbo, however, confirmed some MDC-T senators were lobbying them to take up the motion.
Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma yesterday also confirmed he knew of such a motion although he had not seen the written document.
“Anyone is allowed to move such a motion, but it should be signed to show ownership of the motion, otherwise if it is not signed someone maybe trying to be mischievous,” said Zvoma.
Zvoma said Parliamentary procedure on the Bennett issue was that after going absent for more than 21 days, his seat may be declared vacant.
“It means there must be a motion passed and adopted to declare his seat vacant and the motion can be moved by any senator from any political party,” said Zvoma.