Saturday, 29 August 2015


MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai is in contempt of a High Court order after he declared Bulawayo deputy mayor Gift Banda “bonafide” provincial party chairperson. 

Godfrey Nyoni, a lawyer representing former provincial chairman aspirant Matson Hlalo who complains he was unduly sidelined by the party leadership in favour of Banda, said this yesterday. The High Court in October last year issued a provisional order interdicting Banda from taking up the chairmanship. Hlalo had launched a court action following the party’s controversial provincial congress ahead of the national one in the same month.
The same court in November passed a default judgment declaring Hlalo the bona fide Bulawayo provincial chairperson after Banda and the MDC-T failed to file opposition papers to Hlalo’s action. However, on August 25 the MDC-T successfully applied for the rescission of the default judgment and Banda and the party was allowed to file opposition papers in the case.
Addressing journalists in Bulawayo on Wednesday, Tsvangirai said of the Banda-Hlalo debacle: “What I know internally is that when the issue of Matson Hlalo’s challenge in court with regards to the legitimacy of the deputy mayor who is the provincial chairman, we instituted what we call the arbiter general’s investigation who came here, investigated and produced a report and the facts of the challenge about the legitimacy of Banda as chairman were not proven.
“In other words, Banda legitimately contested an election and he’s the chairman of the province. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind, it was discussed by the national executive, and the facts speak for themselves. Now, what happens to Matson Hlalo? He will have to withdraw his challenge because it wasn’t a challenge,” said Tsvangirai.

However, Nyoni yesterday said Tsvangirai was in contempt of court as the initial provisional order interdicting Banda from occupying the chairmanship was still in effect. Tsvangirai has often been sucked into fights within the faction riddled Bulawayo structures and during a provincial congress last year he had to personally verify voters. chronicle


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