By Jane Mlambo| Minister of Health and Child Care Constantino Chiwenga has indefinitely suspended by-elections to fill vacant parliamentary and council seats created by the recall of MDC Alliance legislators and Killer Zivhu by Zanu PF citing the declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic for the move.
According to the gazetted SI 225 of 2020, Chiwenga invoked the Public Health Act to block by-elections which had earlier been earmarked for the 5th of December.
“Pursuant to subsection (2), the holding of any by-elections to fill a casual vacancy in parliament or in a local authority is for the duration of the period of the declaration of COVID-19 as a formidable epidemic, suspended, and if such a vacancy occurred while such declaration is in force, no part of the period from the date of such vacancy to the date of the end of the declaration shall be counted for the purposes of section 158(3) of the constitution,” reads SI 225 of 2020.
Infightings within the opposition MDC-T has resulted in the recall of more than 40 legislators and councillors by a rival faction led by Dr Thokozani Khupe.
The recalled legislators and councillors were hoping to bounce back soon but it appears they have to wait longer to return to parliament and council.