Critical day for Chamisa, MDC

 Critical day for Chamisa, MDC
Published: 17 October 2019
THE Supreme Court is today expected to either affirm or reject opposition leader Nelson Chamisa's stewardship of the MDC, the Daily News reports. This follows an appeal against High Court judge Edith Mushore's ruling in May this year, which nullified Chamisa's leadership of the country's biggest opposition party.

Mushore's much-debated ruling which was made weeks before the MDC's elective congress in Gweru lifted the spirits of the formation led by long-serving party vice president Thokozani Khupe, who had asserted that Chamisa had assumed the main MDC's leadership illegally.

"The court a quo erred in coming to the conclusion that first appellant (MDC) was barred for failing to file an opposing affidavit and so erred in treating a valid affidavit deposed to by third appellant (Morgen Komichi) as pro non scripto (as though it had not been written) and in proceeding to determine the matter without hearing the first appellant.

"A fortiori the court a quo erred in proceeding in a manner which is in violation of the first appellant's constitutionally protected right to be heard before an independent and impartial court as envisaged by Section 69 (2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, 2013.

"The question of proper constitution for the first appellant having been previously resolved in terms of an extant judgment in a matter which involved the same parties and or at least their privies, the court a quo erred in allowing that issue to be re-opened and in founding its judgment on a constitution which is foreign to the first appellant.

"The court a quo erred in treating without a valid legal or factual basis the domestic remedies set out under first appellant's constitution as ineffectual and in not requiring, in accordance with superior court authority, the exhaustion of those remedies ante the bringing of the matter to court," the MDC's lawyers said in their appeal.

They also said Mushore had made an error by handing down a judgment which was at variance with the MDC's constitution and which was not workable in fact and at law.

Chamisa also recently made an application seeking permission to include the affidavit of his late predecessor, Morgan Tsvangirai, in his Supreme Court appeal. The affidavit, according to the lawyers, showed that Tsvangirai had powers to appoint his vice presidents.

In May, Mushore nullified Chamisa's appointment as president of the MDC with her ruling following a court application by MDC member Elias Mashavira, who had challenged Chamisa's ascendancy to the party's leadership, which he said had happened in violation of the MDC's constitution.

Mushore also nullified Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri's appointments as MDC vice presidents by Tsvangirai whose death early last year led to a vicious power struggle within the country's main opposition, leading to the departure of Khupe from the party.

"The first respondent (MDC) be and is hereby ordered to hold an extra-ordinary congress after the elapse of at least one month after the date of this order," Mushore said in her ruling, ahead of the Gweru congress which went ahead as planned.

The MDC was hit by power struggles after the death of Tsvangirai, with Chamisa assuming the reins of the party ahead of his rivals — albeit, under hotly-contested circumstances.

Chamisa ultimately prevailed over his party competitors after a consultative meeting of the MDC which was attended by 639 delegates from 210 party districts endorsed him as Tsvangirai's interim successor and the party's presidential candidate in the 2018 polls.
- Daily News
Tags: MDC,


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