Recalled MPs to lose diplomatic passports


Recalled MDC Alliance lawmakers are set to lose diplomatic passports, barely a year after getting the privilege which enables them
to travel outside the country on parliamentary business
without hassles.

The lawmakers were recalled from Parliament after the Supreme Court
restored the 2014 structures of the MDC-T which gave Thokozani Khupe the right to lead the party, in an acting capacity, pending the holding
of an extraordinary congress.

Last month, MDC-T recalled Prosper Mutseyami, Charlton Hwende, Thabitha Khumalo and Lillian Timveos amid indications that more
heads would roll after the quartet lost the case at the courts last week. High Court judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi ruled that the MDC- T led by
Khupe had the legal authority to recall MPs from Parliament.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade deputy minister David Musabayana
said the issuance of diplomatic passports to legislators was not a right of individuals but the discretion of President Mnangagwa and can be
withdrawn anytime.

“I know that the diplomatic passports are issued at the pleasure of the President and one cannot claim to be his right to have the diplomatic
passport and in the case of the MPs it can be withdrawn if one is no longer a member of parliament and not doing his parliamentary duty,” Musabayana said.

Last year, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration issued
diplomatic passports to legislators to enable them to carry out their legislative duties and travel outside the country on parliamentary business.
This came after intensive lobbying by the parliamentary portfolio committee of Foreign Affairs and International Trade chaired by Kindness Paradza and the Speaker of National Assembly Jacob Mudenda for
all the 350 legislators in the National Assembly and Senate
Houses to be issued within diplomatic passports.

Hwende said there were “political tricks” by MDC Alliance rivals to withdraw the diplomatic passports adding his party would challenge the
decision in a court of law.

Meanwhile, MDC-T has said that it will recall more legislators who fail to abide by the Supreme Court.

“The MPs are expected to abide by the court ruling and recognise the leadership of the party and those who fail to comply with the court
ruling risk to be recalled from Parliament,” Khupe said.

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