Nelson Chamisa

High Court ends Chamisa’s reign

MDC Alliance president Nelson Chamisa’s dramatic one year reign came to a grinding halt after the High Court yesterday ruled the youthful leader’s leadership was illegitimate and ordered the party to go for an extraordinary congress within a month with the 2014 structures.

Perfect Hlongwane/Moses Matenga

This means the MDC will go for an extraordinary congress with Thokozani Khupe as acting president while Chamisa will only be a card carrying member.

A Gokwe man, Elias Mashavire, secretary for Gokwe -Sesame district, made a High Court application challenging Chamisa’s leadership and wanting an order to have an extraordinary congress as per dictates of the party constitution following the death of party leader Morgan Tsvangirai in February 2018.

His application was granted by the High Court on Wednesday.

MDC-T vice president Obert Gutu said their position that Chamisa has been an illegitimate president of the party has been vindicated.

“Some of us have always been on record to say that we are disciples of constitutionalism and we are vindicated by the ruling of the High Court of Zimbabwe. We have nothing against anyone but we have just been saying if we are democrats, we must follow the constitution of the party. We have always said this and we are not surprised,” Gutu said.

He said the party, after the death of Tsvangirai, was only supposed to follow the dictates of its constitution, that called for an extraordinary congress to elect an interim leader.

But Chamisa’s camp however, said they will not go down without a fight.

“Our lawyers are studying the judgement, we still have options in terms of the law that we can exercise. We disagree with the judgemnt as we disagreed with the challenge. Our lawyers are under the instructions to carry on with our legal options that include an appeal,” MDC spokesperson Jacob Mafume said.

Chamisa was accused of grabbing power at Tsvangirai’s funeral in Humanikwa village in February last year where Khupe and secretary general Douglas Mwonzora were allegedly assaulted by party youths aligned to the former Kuwadzana Member of Parliament.

Chamisa was defeated by Mwonzora for the secretary general post in the 2014 congress before he was appointed by Tsvangirai as vice president in 2016 together with Elias Mudzuri.

He was chosen by the party national council to represent the party in the July 2018 harmonised elections where he narrowly lost to Zanu PF’s Emerson Mnangagwa.

The 2014 structures mean Khupe will be the acting president while Mwonzora remain the secretary general.

Abednico Bhebhe is the organising secretary while Lovemore Moyo will be chairman with Gutu remaining spokesperson of the party. 

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