FIFTY-ONE die-hard MDC Alliance legislators have approached the High Court en masse seeking an interdict to stop their recall from Parliament by the rival camp led by Thokozani Khupe, saying they would resist all machinations aimed at dividing their party.
This came after Khupe’s MDCT recently successfully recalled 21 MDC Alliance legislators and threatened more bloodbath against Chamisa’s loyalists.
MDC-T deputy spokesperson Khalipani Phugeni yesterday confirmed the latest court application by MDC Alliance legislators, which he dismissed as “dubious”.
The MDC Alliance had 113 legislators, of which 21 have since been recalled, another 21 voluntarily joined Khupe and 51 have approached the courts distancing themselves away from MDCT.
Addressing journalists after an MDC-T standing committee meeting in Harare yesterday afternoon, Phugeni said: “They have made a dubious court application of 51 MPs who are seeking to interdict us from recalling them.
“The affidavits appear to have been written by one person, then signed. They are certainly fraudulent and we will prove that in court. Something is just not right with those affidavits and we are going to prove our case in court.
“Those who continue to align with the MDC Alliance party and not the MDC-T will be pulled out in line with the constitution of the party. They will cease being members and will be recalled by the MDC-T.”
Phugeni added that the extraordinary congress ordered by the Supreme Court was now in doubt after police and the Health ministry banned the gathering on health grounds.
MDC Alliance secretary-general Chalton Hwende confirmed that his party legislators had approached the courts.
“We have always been clear that the majority of MPs are behind MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa and they have approached the courts to distance themselves from the MDC-T, this Mwonzora party. From our knowledge, only 21 MPs have crossed the floor and even still, some have told us they have joined Khupe only to defend their income and are willing to join the Alliance. We are a big tent and we will accept them back,” Hwende said.
Khupe is battling for power in the MDC-T, with her faction trying to pull the rug from Chamisa’s faction, which has insisted that it is no longer part of the former party led by the late founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
Last Friday, she got a morale boost after Treasury deposited $7,4 million into her party account, insisting that she was the legitimate leader of the main opposition in Parliament despite the ongoing court disputes about her status.
The money was released under the Political Parties Finance Act and is meant to benefit parties which would have garnered at least 5% of votes in the previous election.
Analysts have, however, questioned the logic of giving the money to Khupe’s party after it failed to win a single contested seat in the July 31, 2018 elections.
The party now wants to take over all seats won by Chamisa’s party, claiming he was adjudged by the Supreme Court as illegitimate.
Between May and June, Khupe, through party acting secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora, recalled 21 legislators who refused to dump Chamisa and gave those remaining a chance to join her ship or face the same fate.