Court stops Khupe from replacing recalled Alliance MPs

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By Mary Taruvinga

HIGH Court judge, Justice Joseph Mafusire has barred reinstated MDC president Thokozani Khupe from replacing recalled legislators, Lilian Timveous and Thabitha Khumalo.

The judgement follows an urgent application filed by the two seeking an order barring Khupe and Speaker Jacob Mudenda from replacing them as lawmakers after they were recalled on April 3 this year.

Their lawyer, Charles Kwaramba confirmed.

“This matter was heard last week. It was a matter where senator Lilian Timveous and member of the National Assembly Thabitha Khumalo were recalled by the Douglas Mwonzora group.

“They filed an application to stop their replacement pending the determination of the application that they have brought to challenge their recall. We sought an interdict from filling the posts that have been created in the various state institutions and parliament and senate.

“What has happened is that the court has granted an order to stop the Mwonzora and Khupe led group from replacing those who have been recalled,” said Kwaramba.

In the application Mwonzora, Khupe, MDC-T, National Assembly Speaker, Mudenda, Senate president Mabel Chinomona and chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Priscilla Chigumba were cited as respondents.

Timveous was the senator for Midlands Province while Khumalo was the Proportional Representative MP for Bulawayo Province.

The two were recalled together with Prosper Mutseyami and Charlton Hwende.

In their application, the legislators told the court that there were high chances that their positions will be filled if the court does not intervene.

“Applicants cannot wait until 6th respondent gazettes the vacancies for them to act. That will amount to waiting for the day of reckoning to arrive,” read the application in part.

They said they participated in the 2018 harmonised elections under the MDC Alliance banner, which had its own logo, name and symbol, which was different from that of the other political parties.

They also said that in all their communications with the electoral body, they did so as the MDC Alliance.

Timveous and Khumalo argued that Mudenda and Chinomona should not have descended into the political arena and make a judgement on contested claims.

Mafusire upheld their arguments saying the respondents or anyone acting on their behalf is barred from replacing the legislators.