By Jermaine Ndlovu
Bulawayo, March 11, 2016 – EMBATTLED MDC-T senator for Bulawayo Metropolitan province Matson Hlalo has approached the courts in attempts to overturn his recent expulsion on party instructions from the upper house.
Hlalo Wednesday filed an urgent High Court chamber application challenging his recalling and subsequent expulsion from the Senate.
He had riled the MDC-T leadership for his persistent fight against the alleged imposition of Bulawayo deputy mayor Gift Banda as the party’s Bulawayo provincial chairman.
Hlalo in 2014 lost an election for chairmanship by 413 to 717 polled by Banda but disowned the outcome insisting the election was marred by violence, vote buying and ballot stuffing.
This saw the firebrand politician approach the courts seeking the nullification of Banda’s election as chair.
He vowed to take the fight to the wire, even approaching the courts.
The MDC-T feels Hlalo should first have exhausted internal remedies before approaching the courts.
In his latest challenge he filed through his lawyers, Godfrey Nyoni of Moyo and Nyoni legal practitioners, Hlalo wants the court to set aside his recalling as well as his dismissal from the house.
“My application, however is to challenge my recalling and expulsion from parliament as a senator for Bulawayo metropolitan province,” Hlalo said in his founding affidavit.
He cited party President Morgan Tsvangirai, Senate president Edna Madzongwe and the Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda as respondents.
Hlalo is adamant that he was still a bona fide member of MDC-T and is still eligible to act, attend and perform all duties or roles that are performed by a Senator.
“My recalling and expulsion, in essence, means I am no longer a member of parliament and my seat is vacant.
“But in terms of Clause 5:12 of the party’s constitution…once I file an appeal against my expulsion from the party, I remain suspended for the time pending the hearing of my appeal. It does not all end there, congress has to endorse the decision of the Appeals Tribunal.
“As it is, I remain suspended but still a member of the MDC-T.
“I have not been expelled or ceased to be an MDC-T member. My recalling and expulsion therefore is clearly out of order. Morgan Tsvangirai’s declaration to the effect that I am no longer a senator by virtue of a letter to him by the party’s secretary General Douglas Mwonzora ought to be set aside.
“The declaration is against the constitution of MDC-T.”
By seeking an urgent resolution of the matter, Hlalo said this was an attempt to ensure his seat is not filled up by another member.
“If I do not act, as I am doing and on an urgent basis, MDC-T and Tsvangirai would have my seat filled with someone; I will not be able thereafter to be reinstated,” said Hlalo.
Obert Gutu, the MDC-T spokesperson said he was not yet aware of Hlalo’s fresh challenge but insisted he was nolonger a party senator.
“This is news to me. I haven’t received the application. I am sure if it is presented to the respective respondents, the party will act upon it.
“But the present situation at the moment is Mr Hlalo is no longer a member of the MDC-T and no longer a senator,” said Gutu.