Chamisa party refuses it is the MDC as ex-workers struggle to recover salaries

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By Robert Tapfumaneyi

MDC leader Nelson Chamisa’s lieutenants have reportedly refused to accept court papers in the case in which the opposition’s former workers are demanding their outstanding salaries.

The party is reportedly claiming it is not the one mentioned in court papers.

Chamisa’s party is known as the MDC Alliance in Parliament but beyond the legislature has rebranded to assume the original name MDC. This was triggered by a legal battle with former party vice president Thokozani Khupe who broke away from the party in the chaos that rocked the opposition in the wake of the death of founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai had also rebranded the party as MDC-T after the acrimonious split with then secretary general Welshman Ncube in 2005. Ncube has ironically returned as deputy president under Chamisa.

Former MDC-T workers recently approached the High Court seeking a garnishee against the party’s share under the Political Parties Finance Act.

MDC-A is expected to receive $3 million from Treasury but it has since emerged that Khupe is demanding the money forcing the government to withhold the allocation in what Chamisa has described as Zanu PF’s way of trying to sink his party.

The five ex-workers argue that the Deputy Sheriff has failed to attach any movable MDC property hence the bid to garnishee the party’s accounts.

“They have refused responsibility arguing that they are not MDC-T and that those court papers are being served to the wrong political party,” Caleb Mucheche representing the former workers said.

The labour lawyer accused the MDC of double standards and trying to hide behind technicalities.

“This is actually devastating as the party is blowing hot and cold. When it comes to the allocation from government they are the MDC but when it comes to paying former workers they do not accept that they are the same political party.

“However we are going to serve them again after they refused to cooperate. We wait for the return of service from the Deputy Sheriff so that it’s on record and we move forward,” said Mucheche.

“But refusing to accept the papers under MDC-T is a dangerous legal argument that will back fire sooner than later.”

The obtained an order against the MDC in 2015 and filed writ of execution against its moveable and immovable properties but later failed to get the specific details on any of the party’s properties court papers show.

In May his year, the High Court gave a ruling that the opposition MDC-T needs to revert to its 2014 structures and that, the late Morgan Tsvangirai did not have power to appoint Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri as co-vice presidents joining Khupe “in the cockpit”.

Following the ruling, Khupe ho was stampeded out of the opposition after an ugly leadership fight with Chamisa immediately declared she was legitimate leader of the party and hence had rights to all that the MDC owned.