via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Gideon Gono’s fate lies with the Supreme Court 10 September 2014
Former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono’s eminent appointment to the senate will, according to Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) chairperson, Rita Makarau, require a Supreme Court decision.
Makarau told The Zimbabwe Mail in an interview yesterday that the poll management body had no idea on the interpretation of the law regarding the replacement of deceased senators, adding it could also depend on how political parties interpret the Electoral Act.
“We are not sure as to the correct interpretation of the law regarding that issue. The political party concerned (Zanu-PF) will have its own interpretation, (so we) will wait until they communicate with us. Last week we gave notice that there are two vacant seats in the senate, in Mashonaland West and Manicaland hence the process of filling them up should begin,” said Makarau.
She was referring to last week’s notice in the government gazette by Zec in which the elections body gave notice that the senate seat left vacant following the death of national hero and former cabinet minister, Kumbirai Kangai, could now be filled. The Mashonaland West seat fell vacant following the elevation of Edna Madzongwe to the position of senate president.
Quizzed on what could be the way forward if Zanu-PF and Zec were to have different interpretations on the next course of action, Makarau said the courts would have to be called in to make a determination.
Last week, Zanu-PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo declared that his party would stick by its decision to endorse Gono as its preferred candidate to fill the vacant Manicaland seat.
“Zanu-PF’s position has not changed, we recommended him and that is it. What is going to happen from now on is another matter, and I suppose if he (Gono) is interested, he is going to submit his name,” said Gumbo.
Gono was not on Zanu-PF’s original list deposited with Zec in the run-up to the harmonised polls last July, and Makarau could not be drawn into committing to a position on whether it was legally possible to amend the list.
However, insiders this week said there were two conflicting positions coming out of the ruling party as factional fights within the ruling party reach fever ahead of what would probably be its biggest elective congress since formation over 50 years ago.
Zanu-PF’s secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa told invited guests at Kangai’s memorial over a week ago that “we will do all in our power to make sure you (Gono) are in the Senate”.