Wednesday 23 October 2019


The Supreme Court yesterday reserved judgment in the matter in which MDC-Alliance leaders Nelson Chamisa and Morgan Komichi are appealing against a High Court ruling in May which declared that the former was illegitimately acting as the party leader.

The judgment automatically confirmed Dr Thokozani Khupe as the legitimate leader.

Dr Khupe yesterday asked the Supreme Court to throw out Mr Chamisa’s appeal on legitimacy to enable her to hold an extra-ordinary congress and pick up the pieces.

Giving submissions to a bench of Supreme Court Judges Justice Bharat Patel, Justice Paddington Garwe and Justice Antonia Guvava during proceedings beamed live on ZTV, Dr Khupe, through her lawyer Professor Lovemore Madhuku, said the dismissal of the appeal will reinstate her as the proper leader of the Movement for Democratic Change.

“If we get the order we will go back and start from February 15, 2018,” said Prof Madhuku.

“All the meetings that took place after February 15 are unlawful. The meeting of February 15 was held hours after the death of MDC founder Mr Morgan Tsvangirai. It appears the people came for a funeral and convened the meeting.

“By that time the party already had an acting president, Khupe, and only she had the power to convene such a meeting. The meeting was invalid and in contradiction with the party constitution.” 

Prof Madhuku said the court aquo was correct in saying that the constitution of MDC did not provide for two deputy presidents.

He said a proper interpretation of the party constitution revealed that only one deputy president was elected at their 2014 congress. “The president did not have the power to appoint persons that ought to be elected,” said Prof Madhuku. “There is no point in evoking domestic remedies when it is clear they have been undermined. We pray for an order that confirms the High Court ruling and enables Khupe to hold an extraordinary congress.”

Mr Ashel Mutukura, who is representing Gokwe-based party member, Elias Mashavira said Chamisa was avoiding section 9 (2) of the party constitution that talks about succession following the death of a leader.

He said the meeting of February 15 could not be used to discuss a possible successor because the constitution provided for one.

Advocate Thabani Mpofu, who is representing Chamisa and Komichi, said the party’s national council mandated Tsvangirai to appoint his deputies.

He said the national council can make decisions in between congresses and its powers are limitless. 

“The court cannot decide on voluntary association, especially where there is unanimous agreement, more so if it’s the affairs of the party, it creates awkwardness,” said Adv Mpofu.

“Khupe has moved on and started her own party. She held her own congress and participated in the harmonised elections. It is scandalous for her to seek relief as party president. Herald


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