Parties in Zimbabwe's unity government have started jostling for the position of Speaker of Parliament left vacant last week by a decision issued by the Supreme Court vacating the 2008 election of Lovemore Moyo.
The battle is heating up with ZANU-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai counting votes in the lower chamber while lawyers examine some thorny legal issues.
Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma said Tuesday that deposed Speaker Lovemore Moyo could not vote in the forthcoming ballot as he resigned his Matopo parliamentary seat when he was elected speaker.
Tsholotsho lawmaker Jonathan Moyo successfully challenged that election. But legal experts said Zvoma was off base, taking a political slant on the question.
Zvoma has sent a letter to Attorney General Johannes Tomana asking for his opinion in the matter. Tomana told VOA's Studio Seven he would respond Thursday.
Sources in the Attorney General’s office said the AG will advise Zvoma that Moyo should revert to his Matopo seat and cast votes as a member.
Currently ZANU-PF holds 95 seats, the Tsvangirai MDC has 97 and the smaller MDC formation led by Welshman Ncube has 7 seats.
Some seven members have died since 2008 and the Ncube MDC unseated three members for insubordination.
Party sources said ZANU-PF is fielding chairman Simon Khaya Moyo while the Tsvangirai MDC will again run Moyo and the smaller MDC formation will put forward Paul Themba Nyathi.
National Constitutional Assembly chairman Lovemore Madhuku told VOA Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu that in his opinion Moyo has the right to vote.