Mwonzora, Khupe Rift Explodes

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By Leopold Munhende, Chief Reporter

MDC-T vice-president Thokozani Khupe has dragged party leader Douglas Mwonzora to court in a bid to stop him from recalling her from parliament.

Khupe jointly filed the application at the Bulawayo High Court with Gweru mayor Josiah Makombe and Chitungwiza mayor Lovemore Maiko.

They claimed they were being targeted for allegedly sympathising with Zanu PF and MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa.

They are being represented by lawyer Nqobani Sithole of Ncube Attorneys.

The MDC-T, Mwonzora, party chairperson Morgen Komichi and secretary-general Paurina Mupariwa were cited as respondents in the matter.

The Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and Local Government minister July Moyo were also cited as respondents.

The applicants, under case number HC 1940/21, filed an application for review of the process, the proceedings and outcomes of the MDC-T national council meeting which was held on November 26, 2021, where it was resolved that party members who were suspected to be sympathetic to the MDC Alliance, have to be recalled.

The meeting also resolved those members of the National Assembly, the Senate, provincial councils or local government councillors who were perceivably aligned to the Khupe faction also need to be recalled.

In her founding affidavit, Khupe who is a proportional representation senator stated that it was alleged during the November 26 national council meeting that she leading those that were sympathetic to Zanu PF, and the MDC Alliance.

“This is an urgent chamber application to interdict the first, second, third and fourth respondents from putting into operation and effect, a decision of the National Council of the 1st Respondent, taken on the 26th of November 2021, by which decision, the first, second, third and fourth respondent seek to withdraw first respondent’s members and officials serving in rural or urban or provincial councils or in the National Assembly (both Parliament and the Senate) on the arbitrarily and spurious premises that such of the first respondent’s members or officials are suspected to be politically consorting with a competing political organization, or are aligned to the first applicant who is regarded as a threat to the second respondent’s presidential position in the first respondent’s organisation,” Khupe said in her founding affidavit.

She claimed that on December 12, 2021, it emerged that Makombe had been invited by the MDC-T party to go to its Gweru offices to be served with a letter of recall and expulsion.

She also argued that the MDC-T had withheld the minutes of the November 26 2021 national council meeting and the resolutions to her.

“First respondent intends to proceed by secrecy and surprise as it did in the year 2018, when it clandestinely recalled me from the National Assembly.” Khupe said.

“As a senior and founder member of the first respondent, I confirm that all such of the 1st Respondent’s recalls and expulsions from local and national people’s houses have been without due notice, and have not been carried through via due process, in full compliance with the laws of natural justice, and in compliance with

constitutional safeguards in promotion of lawful, reasonable and procedurally fair administrative actions.”

The matter is yet to be heard.