Wednesday, April 20, 2011

(HERALD) Ian Kay replaces Bennett

Ian Kay replaces Bennett
Tuesday, 19 April 2011 22:10
By Farirai Machivenyika

MDC-T Marondera Central House of Assembly Member Mr Ian Kay is likely to be nominated by his party for the post of Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development.

This follows the impending expulsion of Mr Roy Bennett from the Senate after he missed more than 21 sittings without official leave. The party is also expected to fill Mr Bennett's Senate seat with MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai's close ally Mr James Makore.

Sources within the party yesterday said Mr Kay was the leading candidate given his agriculture background.

He is a former commercial farmer in Marondera. He was also one of the farmers who strongly resisted Government's land reform programme.

"He (Mr Kay) seems to be the favoured nominee basically for his background in agriculture and the role he played in resisting the fast track land reform."
The source said Mr Kay was viewed as having the same militancy against land reforms as Mr Bennett.

Mr Makore, a member of Mr Tsvangirai's "kitchen cabinet", was chosen to replace former Zengeza legislator Tafadzwa Musekiwa.

He, however, lost the 2004 by-election to Zanu-PF's Cde Christopher Chigumba.
MDC-T spokesperson Nelson Chamisa yesterday said nothing has been agreed on.
"Nothing has been finalised yet and everything you are saying are just rumours," he said.

Prime Minister Tsvangirai's spokesperson Mr Luke Tamborinyoka said his boss had not made any appointments to the deputy ministerial post or the Senate seat.
"The (MDC-T) president has not made any nomination on that. He will do that after consulting his colleagues in the party and that is when an announcement would be made," he said.

Mr Bennett's expulsion is likely to be formalised when the Upper House resumes sitting in a fortnight. Clerk of Parliament Mr Austin Zvoma, who is said to be currently out of the country, could not be reached for comment.

However, according to Section 41 of the Constitution, if a member misses at least 21 sittings without leave, another member should give notice to move a motion that Parliament declares the seat vacant.

"The seat does not automatically become vacant, there has to be a resolution passed by Senate for it to become vacant. It (resolution) must be passed by more than 50 percent of the senators," University of Zimbabwe law lecturer Professor Lovemore Madhuku said yesterday.

Mr Bennett has been in self-imposed exile in South Africa after his acquittal on treason charges last year.

President Mugabe refused to swear him in as deputy agriculture minister saying he was not suitable for the role given his background in Ian Smith's racist Rhodesian regime.

Other names have been mentioned as his likely replacements in Senate. These include Mr Kay's wife, Kerry and the MDC-T founding youth secretary-general Bekithemba Mpofu.

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