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Court Dismisses MDC-T Activist's Application Seeking Nullification of Local Election

FILE: Some members of the MDC-T marching in Harare. (MDC-T Facebook Page)

The High Court in Bulawayo on Tuesday dismissed former MDC-T senator Matson Hlalo’s application to nullify the nomination of Gift Banda as the party’s provincial chairperson for Bulawayo.

Hlalo’s lawyer Dumisani Dube confirmed to Studio 7 that High Court judge Justice Francis Bere dismissed Hlalo’s application in which he sought the nullification of the election of Gift Banda as the MDC-T’s provincial chairperson for Bulawayo.

Dube said the judge stated that he was going to give a written judgment by end of week.

Hlalo has mounted a series of court challenges following the election of Banda during the MDC-T’s provincial congress towards the end of 2014, alleging that the internal process was marred by violence and vote rigging.

Hlalo, who was expelled from the MDC-T and subsequently recalled from Senate earlier this year, also lost his bid to have the High Court set aside his removal from the august house.

Attorney Dube told said he is awaiting for further instructions from Hlalo.

MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said the opposition party advised Hlalo to avoid taking the matter to court.

Insiders claim that the rift between Hlalo and the MDC-T reflects factionalism within the party over the control of Bulawayo and the greater Matabeleland region. Hlalo is reportedly opposed to the party’s vice president Thokozani Khuphe, who is said to be backing Banda.

Khuphe was not available for comment as she was said to be busy attending some meetings. But Gutu dismissed these allegations as far-fetched.

Hlalo recently told a state-controlled newspaper that he was not against any individuals but was fighting for the respect of the party's constitution and democratic principles.

Reached for comment by phone, deputy provincial spokesperson Felix Mafa dismissed as nonsensical claims that the MDC-T is riddled with factionalism in the Matabeleland region.

Mafa said the MDC-T is more united than before, adding that the turning up of thousands of supporters during the party’s public demonstration against the deteriorating economic situation in the country in Bulawayo at the end of May is evidence that the party is very strong in the region.

Report On Mayor Manyenyeni's Dismissal Filed By Thomas Chiripasi
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In a related development, heads of church denominations, which include the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference, Zimbabwe Council of Churches and the Union for The Development of the Apostolic Churches in Zimbabwe Africa, are calling for a leadership renewal in the country.

The body issued two statements Monday which call for the re-alignment of laws, protection of human rights, and the promotion of equal rights, need to address corruption, improvement of the declining economy and reduction of poverty.

Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZHOCD) executive secretary and Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe general secretary, Pastor Blessing Makwara, said, “The main focus of these two documents is to solicit for conversation, you know, structured dialogue, eeh, with all stakeholders including government, business, labour and civic society on how we can be able to collectively address the challenges that we share, vis-à-vis the Zimbabwe we want."

Interview With Pastor Blessing Makwara, a member of the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations
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The two papers, ‘The Zimbabwe We Want’ and ‘Concerns of the Church in Zimbabwe’ summarize the organizations’ vision that was first highlighted in 2006 after nationwide consultations. But 10 years later, the vision is even more compelling, according to the ZHOCD.