By Tafadzwa Muranganwa
Following the High Court ruling on Wednesday that Nelson Chamisa was illegitimately acting as the MDC leader, declaring his appointment as vice president and subsequent appointment as president null and void, the opposition party has rubbished the judgement.
Presenting a press statement at the party’s headquarters, MDC Alliance spokesperson Jacob Mafume dismissed the judgement saying it smacks of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ploy to destabilise the 20-year-old opposition party.
“We fundamentally disagree with the High Court of Zimbabwe judgement issued by Justice Edith Mushore today.
“We are fully aware of the machinations and strategies being deployed by the Mnangagwa administration to destabilize and destroy the people ’s project and we reiterate that Emmerson Mnangagwa is illegitimate and no amount of diversionary tactics will change this fact, ”he said, while flanked by the treasurer general Theresa Makone and deputy secretary general Paurina Mpariwa.
Mafume argued that the case had no merit especially after the same court quashed an earlier judgement which also sought to nullify the appointment of the MDC leadership.
“Strangely, Justice Mushore’s judgement contradicts and totally ignores an earlier judgement of the High Court which ruled on the case of Murimoga versus the MDC,” added the MDC Alliance spokesperson.
In the ruling, the judge said the opposition party must hold an extraordinary congress within a month using the 2014 structures at a time when the party’s preparations for the May Congress are already at an advanced stage.
However, MDC Alliance is planning to go ahead with the Congress despite the judgement.
“In just a few weeks’ time, the MDC will complete the process of democratically electing its leadership at a Congress convened in terms of its Constitution.
“For the avoidance of doubt, preparations for the main Congress are at an advanced stage and 6 800 delegates will attend and that process is irreversible,” states the party.
Quizzed whether the party will challenge the judgement, Theresa Makone revealed that the opposition party was definitely filling papers to challenge the verdict.
Earlier on MDC’s founding member and lawyer David Coltart in a tweet argued that verdict was ‘infective’ when asked about the implication of the ruling
“It will be appealed. This is what is called a brutum fulmen – ‘empty thunder’, an ineffective order. By the time the appeal is heard a duly constituted Congress of the MDC will have been held and @nelsonchamisa elected. Pathetic interference with the due process of a party,” Coltart posted.
There are varying reactions from people with some saying that the verdict is likely to cause panic in the party knowing how in 2014 a splinter group of the MDC led by Tendai Biti had its members recalled from parliament after they formed another political party PDP(People’s Democratic Party).