Court dismisses MDC-A bid to block unjust recall of MPs

HIGH Court judge, Justice Tawanda Chitapi Friday dismissed MDC-Alliance’s bid to interdict parliament from further recalling the party’s legislators from parliament saying the application was improperly before the court.

The learned judge said his findings in passing verdict were informed by documents signed by the party’s founding President Morgan Tsvangirai outlining the formation of the Alliance based on when the quartet was recalled from parliament.

“MDC-Alliance is not a legal persona and is improperly before the courts. The party’s official, Charlton Hwende has no authority to represent the recalled Members of Parliament,” ruled Justice Chitapi.

The opposition outfit was also slapped with costs at the close of the matter which was filed with the courts almost a fortnight ago.

The dispute arose after the Supreme Court’s recently reinstated acting president, Thokozani Khupe’s   faction recalled four legislators who include:  Charlton Hwende and three others, Thabitha Khumalo, Lilian Timveous and Prosper Mutseyami through e letter of instruction directed to the Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Mudenda.

Hwende then approached the courts as an applicant on behalf of the MDC-Alliance opposition party arguing that the Khupe led faction had no mandate to withdraw legislators from another political outfit hence the need to act on barring any such future attempts.

The  Khupe-led MDC faction represented by Lovemore Madhuku argued in court that the MDC-A’s application lacked merit because it was not raising imminent issues.

 He said there was no cause of action, harm which had occurred or is likely to occur and he dismissed an affidavit submitted by the MDC-A as baseless as it relied only on media reports hinting there were plans to recall all MDC-A MPs.

Madhuku told the court a political party had no legal interest to speak on behalf of MPs as they are sworn into office on the strength of the country’s Constitution and pledged allegiance to the people as opposed to political parties.

In  mitigation, lawyer Alec Muchadehama assisted by MDC-A vice president, Tendai Biti argued the matter remained urgent because four MPs from the party had since been recalled.

He maintained that the MDC-Alliance is now a new political outfit which has no links to the arguments presented by Khupe.

The ruling comes shortly after yet another High Court ruling delivered last week by Justice Munangati Manongwa in a matter involving  the MDC Alliance versus the Finance ministry and the Justice ministry and the Parliament of Zimbabwe.

He granted an interim order requested by Chamisa to stop the disbursement of $7,5 million under the Political Parties Finance Act to the Thokozani Khupe-led MDC-T.

“The applicant herein is a political party with capacity to sue and be sued. The applicant has approached the court on an urgent basis seeking the following relief…,” the learned judge ruled.

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