National Assembly speaker Jacob Mudenda has upheld his controversial expulsion of 18 CCC legislators who were Tuesday permanently ejected from the legislative house moments after court halted further recalls by self-styled party interim secretary general Sengezo Tshabangu.

The opposition had argued the speaker was in contempt of court when he proceeded to announce the ouster of the legislators when word filtered that Justice Tawanda Chitapi of the Harare High Court had granted an interdict against further recalls until Tshabangu’s legal status as a man who could act on behalf of the opposition is dispensed with.

Mudenda told anguished opposition lawmakers Tuesday he was going to make a decision once he got sight of the court ruling.

However, he returned Wednesday to defend his decision to expel the opposition MPs.

The Zanu PF top politician, accused by opponents of fronting an alleged plot to decimate the opposition representation in parliament, said the court order was passed in respect of recalls that shall arise from Tuesday going onwards.

The speaker said he was acting on a recall order issued by Tshabangu on 7 November 2023.

“The notice of the recall is effective from the date of the letter (from Tshabangu) which is the 7th of November,” Mudenda said.

MPs caught in the latest opposition carnage include Admore Chievero (Chegutu West), Stephen Chatiza (Goromonzi West), Gift Ostallos Siziba (Pelandaba), Tapfumanei Willard Madzimbamuto (Seke), Oliver Mutasa (Zvimba East), Amos Chibaya (Mkoba North), Emma Muzondiwa (Midlands PR), Machirairwa Mugidho (Masvingo PR), Constance Chihota (Mashonaland East PR), Monica Mukwada (Manicaland PR), Sekai Mungani (Midlands PR), Linnet Mazingaidzo (Harare) and Dephine Gutsa (Mashonaland East PR).

Five senators who were recalled include Harare lawmakers Jameson Timba, Webster Maonera and Vongai Tome.

Also among Tshabangu’s latest casualties are Mashonaland West province senators Editor Matamisa and Ralph T Magunje.

The recalls have plunged the opposition into disarray with pressure mounting on CCC leader Nelson Chamisa to take decisive action against attempts to annihilate his party by the state