Khupe loses parly expulsion challenge

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By Mary Taruvinga

THE Constitutional Court has thrown out an application by former MP and now MDC-T president Thokozani Khupe who was claiming damages following her expulsion from the House after she was recalled by the Nelson Chamisa led MDC April last year.

Khupe argued that the MDC violated its own constitution by recalling her and as such, parliament ought not to have expelled her in the manner it did.

However, the full ConCourt bench chaired by Justice Luke Malaba dismissed her application saying fuller details will be provided later.

“This is the judgement by the full bench. The application is hereby dismissed with no order as to costs,” he said.

Khupe was recalled by MDC in April last year, after she lost a three-way power struggle that also involved another party deputy president, Elias Mudzuri.

This followed the death of founding president, Morgan Tsvangirai, in February last year.

The party’s national council appointed Chamisa as acting party president with a disaffected Khupe branched off with her supporters to form her own MDC-T party.

Khupe’s lawyer, Lovemore Madhuku had submitted that the application was not a moot case, but wanted the ConCourt to make a determination, given that his client was prejudiced of her benefits when she was “unceremoniously” expelled, adding she was considering suing for damages.

“This is not a moot case, because if it is established that she was unconstitutionally expelled, she will be entitled to her benefits…she lost her benefits in terms of salary and allowances.

“She can sue for damages against the second respondent (Parliament) if it is established that she was not constitutionally removed,” Madhuku said.

In response, Advocate Thabani Mpofu, who is representing the House of Assembly and its Speaker Jacob Mudenda, argued there was no dispute to be resolved by the court.

Khupe, who was an MDC-T Proportional Representation MP, was expelled from the august house after Chamisa wrote to Mudenda claiming she nolonger represented the opposition party’s interests.