Mudenda to resign from rights commission

via Mudenda to resign from rights commission – DailyNews Live by Chengetai Zvauya

Jacob Mudenda, the newly-elected Speaker of the National Assembly has technically resigned as chairperson for Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC).

The 67-year-old Mudenda was on Tuesday elected to be the Speaker of the 8th Zimbabwe Parliament, with Mabel Chinomona as his deputy.

Mudenda has served as chair of the ZHRC since March this year following the resignation of Reg Austin.

Mudenda, a lawyer by profession, told the Daily News that he had no choice but quit heading the first body tasked with investigating human rights violations to take up his legislative role.

“I have technically resigned from the ZHRC, however,  I still have 21 days to write my resignation letter and  hand it to the responsible minister once he is in place,” Mudenda told the Daily News.

Ellen Sithole, Mudenda’s deputy at the ZHRC, was tipped to take over as chairperson.

During the election of the presiding officers in Parliament on Tuesday, MDC legislators absconded, leaving the chamber just after they had finished taking oath of office.

Mudenda and Chinomona were elected unopposed, as the MDC did not field candidates and did not vote in the secret ballot.

Asked whether he was happy to be elected to be Speaker by Zanu PF legislators only, Mudenda said  the question can best be answered by MDC legislators.

“Who stopped the MDC members from participating in the elections?  You can ask them that question, not me,” Mudenda said.

Mudenda took oath before Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku.

Zanu PF dominates the 8th Parliament with 197 legislators in the National Assembly compared to MDC’s 70 seats, with the smaller MDC with two seats and one independent legislator Jonathan Samukange.

The Senate has 37 Zanu PF members, 21 MDC seats, 18 chiefs and people with disabilities represented by two seats.

In the Senate, Zanu PF members Edna Madzongwe and Chenhamo Chimutengwende were elected president and deputy president of the Senate unopposed as MDC senators boycotted the vote.