MPs, Senators to be sworn-in Wednesday

CLERK of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda has set next Wednesday as the day members elected to both the National Assembly and Senate will take the oath of office.

The development likely setting the stage for President Emmerson Mnangagwa to officially open Parliament; an indication Cabinet announcement is eminent.

In a notice published in the Government Gazette on Friday, Chokuda said the administration of the oath to those elected on July 30 was in terms of section 128(1) of the Constitution.

“It is hereby notified that in terms of section 128(1) of the Constitution the day and time for Members of Parliament to make and subscribe the oath of a Member of Parliament before the Clerk of Parliament in terms of form set out in the Third Schedule to the Constitution shall be (a) 10:00 in the morning Wednesday the 5th of September 2018 for Members of the National Assembly and (b) 14:30 in the afternoon Wednesday the 5th of September for Members of the Senate,” said the notice.

There had been confusion as to what goes first the swearing in of MPs and Senators or the appointment of Cabinet given the Constitution gives the President latitude to choose non-constituency people as members of his executive.

All other ministers must be picked from elected members but, legally, a person is deemed an MP or Senator only when they take the oath of office before the Clerk of Parliament.

Mnangagwa met outgoing Speaker Jacob Mudenda for consultations on the matter.

The President, who is due in China for an international summit, picked his two deputies Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi before flying out, avoiding a situation where he would have left the country without a leader.