EMBATTLED opposition MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has rekindled his fight against rival MDC-T leader Thokozani Khupe saying she no longer had legal grounds to claim leadership of the main opposition party after failing to hold an extra-ordinary congress by July 31 as ordered by the Supreme Court early this year.
The court, in a moot ruling though, had on March 30 recognised Khupe as interim party president and ordered her to hold an extra-ordinary congress on or by July 31 to resolve the opposition’s contested leadership following the death of founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai in February 2018.
MDC Alliance secretary for presidential affairs Jameson Timba yesterday while speaking to the NewsDay said the MDC T lead by Thokozani Khupe which rose to power on the back of a supreme court ruling’s term of office has expired and they no longer have a legal leg to stand on and claim legitimacy since they failed to hold the congress within the timeframe given by the court.
Speaking to the publication Timba said Khupe has ceased to be the acting president of the MDC T from the 2014 structures:
They purported to come back as leaders of the MDC-T on the strength of the Supreme Court ruling which allowed Khupe to be acting president for four months, which lapsed on July 31 midnight. They had even lost their posts in line with the MDC constitution, which gives them power to remain in office for five years. So having been elected in 2014, their offices expired in 2019.
The urgent court application by the Thokozani Khupe group to have their extra-ordinary congress dates moved to end of November was not deemed a chamber application by Supreme Court judge Justice (Antonia) Guvava, but accepted as an ordinary court application to be heard before three Supreme Court judges in an open court. The case as per the timelines given by the court is likely to be heard any day after the 20th of August.
In essence, what it means is that as of midnight of July 31, 2020, Thokozani Khupe ceased to be the acting president of the court-resurrected MDC-T 2014 structures. The same fate also befell Douglas Mwonzora and (Morgen) Komichi, who are now just ordinary members of the defunct party as it were and cannot purport to act on its behalf.
This also means that those institutions and individuals such as the Speaker, who were hiding behind a finger and purportedly relying on the Supreme Court judgment to politically decimate the MDC Alliance through unlawful recalls, can no longer do so without shame
It is still not clear what will happen to the Khupe-led faction since the matter is again before the courts. Khupe has been recalling MDC Alliance MPs and Senators from parliament since she became the interim MDC T leader.