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'Waste of Time for MDC Alliance to File Court Challenge of MDC-T's Move to Seize Alliance'

Thokozani Khupe and Nelson Chamisa

A Zimbabwean human rights lawyer says the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa is unlikely to seek a court order to stop the Thokozani Khupe MDC-T from using the Alliance to field candidates in the forthcoming parliamentary and council elections.

In an interview, Matshobana Ncube, said seeking a court order in the High Court to block the MDC-T from using the Alliance would be a waste of time.

“… The MDC Alliance might go to court to seek an interdict but my worry is that with the decision of the Supreme Court in place, if one had to go to the High Court to seek such an interdict, the High Court will always refer one to the Supreme Court decision to say that question was settled in that Supreme Court decision and so the High Court being an inferior court cannot revisit the matter. So, in a way, it’s a closed chapter. Thokozani (Khupe) is supposed to lead that party or the Alliance in terms of the agreement of the political parties or in terms of the decision of the Supreme Court … Therefore going to court for me will be a waste of time.”

Ncube said the MDC Alliance should seriously consider forming another party in order to avoid conflicts with the Khupe formation.

“What in essence this party has to do, these individuals, Chamisa and his colleagues, they may consider forming a new political entity, a new political party. In so doing they will have to sacrifice those Members of Parliament, those councilors that remain in their positions, that have not been recalled by Thokozani Khupe and others in her entity as we have seen others being recalled. The only challenge or danger politically ofcourse that one may see is that if these remain with Thokozani Khupe they may then have their allegiance to her and they may have lost to their colleagues who may then be forming a new entity.”

He said the Supreme Court ruling made sometime this year, gave Khupe the power to lead the MDC-T, which was once led by the late Morgan Tsvangirai, who died of cancer of the colon in 2018.

“So, in a way even assuming one says Thokozani Khupe is leader of MDC-T in terms of the decision of the Supreme Court that says she is the leader of the MDC-T that had been previously led by Morgan Tsvangirai, then what it means is that when she took over the leadership of that party then she also took over the leadership of the Alliance.

“So, if the Alliance is in existence, she is the leader and they can contest the polls under that name (MDC Alliance). But we all know that these are political maneuverings and out maneuverings of one another within the political space …The battle for the souls and hearts of the people that the opposition purports to lead.”

MDC presidential spokesperson, Khaliphani Pugeni, said Chamisa will soon be stopped from using the MDC Alliance.

“We are going to stop them from using our slogans, using our emblems, using our colors, using our name. We are going to stop all of this nonsense.”

But Clifford Hlatywayo, deputy national spokesperson of the MDC Alliance, said they are consulting Zimbabweans on the way forward.

“Here we are not fighting against Khupe but Zanu PF. Khupe is being used by (Emmerson) Mnangagwa. People know all this. Khupe and others are Zanu PF. We won’t allow ourselves to be bullied by Mnangagwa.”

Zanu PF has distanced itself from the MDC Alliance conflict saying the two parties should take care of their business.

“These people are confused. They don’t know what they are doing. They should stop blaming Zanu PF for their problems. The two parties should sort out their mess and not point fingers at Zanu PF,” said Believe Gaule, a Zanu PF member and former Tsholotsho senator.

The Supreme Court declared Chamisa’s leadership of the MDC null and void, arguing that he assumed the leadership of the party without following proper procedures.