AN MDC official has petitioned the High Court seeking an order declaring that Nelson Chamisa is not the acting president or president of the opposition party.
In his founding affidavit filed alongside the court application on September 24, MDC secretary for Gokwe Sesame district, Elias Mashavira also said he is seeking another order to direct that an extraordinary congress be held within 60 days to elect the late Morgan Tsvangirai’s successor according to the party’s constitution.
In the application through his lawyers, Mutungura and Partners, Mashavira cited the MDC, Chamisa, vice-president Elias Mudzuri, MDC-T president Thokozani Khupe, secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora and chairperson Morgen Komichi as respondents.
Mashavira said he is challenging the decision of the party’s national executive committee and the national council which purportedly elected Chamisa and his colleagues into office on the basis that him, being a congress delegate representing Gokwe Sesame district “was never invited to the alleged congress held in Bulawayo” early this year.
“The fifth respondent (Mwonzora) as the secretary-general did not invite delegates neither did he take minutes of the alleged congress. My province, district, ward and branch were not invited to that congress and as such in terms of the MDC party constitution, no congress has been held to fill the vacancy left by the passing on of the president of the MDC party, Morgan Richard Tsvangirai,” Mashavira said.
“In any event, what was supposed to be held is an extra-ordinary congress not an ordinary congress.”
According to Mashavira, before Tsvangirai died, he had unconstitutionally appointed two more deputy presidents — Chamisa and Mudzuri but was not challenged at the time.
“Upon the death of Tsvangirai, provisions of the party’s constitution regarding the president’s succession automatically kicked in. However a dispute erupted between Khupe, Chamisa and Mudzuri,” he said.
Mashavira also said if Khupe is leading an organisation which has nothing to do with the party, she can be excused from the litigation.
“If the organisation she now leads has nothing to do with the party formed in 1999 and to which I am a valid member entitled to be called to congress, then I rest my case against her and I will tender wasted costs for dragging her to court,” he said.
“But if she is holding herself as the president of the political party I formed and belong to, such upholding must be set aside on the following grounds: I am a congress delegate as I represent Gokwe Sesame district and was never invited to the alleged congress in Bulawayo.”
Mashavira said he is convinced that he has a case against Chamisa judging by the manner which he was elected into office.
“It is from these grounds that I pray for an order declaring that the second respondent (Chamisa) is not the acting president nor president of MDC party and an order calling upon the fifth respondent to exercise his powers as constituted in Article 9.5.1 of the constitution within 60 days of this order being granted in any event before the expiration of the limit set in Article 9.2.1 of the MDC party constitution to convene an extra- ordinary congress to select a president of the party in terms of the constitution,” he said.
The matter is yet to be set down for hearing.