High Court rules Chamisa is illegitimate MDC leader

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By Leopold Munhende

THE opposition MDC, was Wednesday thrown into turmoil, after High Court Judge, Justice Edith Mushore ruled that current party leader Nelson Chamisa’s appointment as party vice president in 2016 by the late opposition founding president Morgan Tsvangirai was null and void.

The Judge has also ordered the MDC to hold an extra-ordinary congress within a month declaring Chamisa’s takeover after Tsvangirai’s death last year was ultra-vires the party’s constitution.

The party is cited as first respondent, while Chamisa, deputy president Elias Mudzuri, MDC-T president Thokozani Khupe, secretary general Douglas Mwonzora and the other vice president Morgan Komichi as second to sixth respondent.

It has also been ruled that all actions by Chamisa since his appointment in 2016 and subsequent rise to power last year be declared invalid.

“The appointment of 2nd and 3rd Respondents (Chamisa and Mudzuri) as deputy presidents of the Movement for Democratic Change party were unconstitutional and therefore null and void.

“The appointments and or reassignments and all actions of the 2nd Respondents (Chamisa) in his purported capacity as deputy/acting or incumbent president were unconstitutional and therefore null and void,” reads the court judgment.

“The 1st Respondent be and hereby ordered to hold an extra-ordinary congress after the elapse of at least one month after the date of this order.”

The party has been ordered to pay all costs of the case that has dragged since last year.

“The Respondents are ordered to pay the applicants costs of suit, jointly and severally, the one paying the other to be absolved,” the Judge ruled.

Chamisa has set his party’s congress for 24-26 May this year. In September last year, the applicant Elias Mashavira, the MDC secretary for Gokwe Sesame district, petitioned the High Court seeking an order to reverse Chamisa’s rise to power following Tsvangirai’s death in February 2018.

Mashavira also sought an order to force the party to an extraordinary congress be held within 60 days to elect the late Tsvangirai’s successor according to the party’s constitution.

Justice Mushore added that the MDC in holding the extra-ordinary congress must use its 2014 structures.