The Supreme Court Tuesday ruled that Nelson Chamisa is not the legitimate MDC leader in a judgment that settles the leadership wrangle between him and Dr Thokozani Khupe.
The ruling follows an appeal by MDC-Alliance leaders Chamisa and Morgan Komichi challenging a High Court ruling in May last year which declared that Chamisa was illegitimately acting as the party leader.
During the appeal hearing last October, Dr Khupe who was being represented by Professor Lovemore Madhuku asked the Supreme Court to throw out Mr Chamisa’s appeal on legitimacy to enable her to hold an extraordinary congress and pick up the pieces.
The dismissal of the appeal must reinstate Dr Khupe as the proper leader of the Movement for Democratic Change and the opposition party will go back and start from February 15, 2018.
Meanwhile, Morgen Komichi has accepted the Supreme Court’s ruling which said that Thokozani Khupe who was now leading the MDC-T is the legitimate leader of the MDC that was founded by the late Morgen Tsvangirai.
Komichi gave the speech immediately after the court session prompting some to say he already knew the court ruling on the matter. Below is Komichi’s statement in full.
Today the Supreme Court, which is the highest Court of the Land except in constitutional cases, has pronounced itself on the dispute that has long been affecting our Party,
This follows the challenge by one of our long-standing cadres and Organizing Secretary for Gokwe District Elias Mashavira who felt that the Party constitution had not been followed in the appointment of certain leaders. He argued that at all times the Party must follow its own constitution.
He was vindicated when Justice Mushore of the High Court ruled in his favor in March 2019. He has further been vindicated by a unanimous decision of the Supreme Court today.
This case was argued fully live on television and Zimbabweans are aware of the issues at stake.
The MDC is a Party predicated on social democratic values including freedom, justice, equality, solidarity and democracy. Its founding values include following constitutionalism and the rule of law.
We gain the trust of Zimbabweans if we stick to our own rules and procedures. For that reason, we accept and embrace the judgement of this court and will fully comply with it. Doing otherwise will be embarking on the very lawlessness we have been known to loathe.
That Mr Mashavira was not as high ranking as some leaders does not diminish the potency of his challenge nor his importance in the Party. It follows that the leadership of this great Party reverts back to those who were in leadership at all levels in 2014.
All the actions of the present leadership including the holding of the Gweru Congress while well aware of the present case are nullified.
To that end we advise all our members and structures as follows:
1. All suspensions and dismissals of any party member by the current leadership between February 2018 and today are null and void. The affected members are hereby fully reinstated to their positions in the party.
2. The suspensions, dismissals and recalls of the Mayors of Chegutu, Masvingo and Victoria Falls are hereby set aside and that their Worships are reinstated thus giving effect to the true wishes of the electorate.
3. The removal of all ward executive committees and district executive committees is set aside. All the 1958 ward executive committees and all the 210 district executive committees are hereby reinstated and shall forthwith convene and do party work.
4. All members of staff whose contracts of employment were unlawfully terminated last year are hereby reinstated and must report for duty as soon as practicably possible given the circumstances. 5. All our party deployees to council and parliament are advised that they have no need to fear as there will be no reprisal or retribution from the leadership. This is on the strict understanding that they will discharge their obligations towards the party and not embark on any activities calculated to divide the Party.
6. The current leadership are kindly asked to hand over the assets of the Party to the Secretary-General. All financial records should be handed over to the Treasurer General of the Party.