Thokozani Khupe’s lawyer Lovemore Madhuku has given his legal opinion on the ongoing MDC T saga that saw Khupe trying to overturn the election that was won by her rival Douglas Mwonzora.
Madhuku stated that Mwonzora was duly elected the MDC-T leader unless the election is set aside by a competent court.
Madhuku’s legal opinion which was released yesterday reads in part:
5. As soon as the voting process began under the direction of the Independent electoral body, the Acting President became a candidate In the election of the President. Thereafter, she could neither cancel the extraordinary Congress nor suspend the Secretary General who was also a candidate in the same election. It is now settled In law that an office-heftier who Is conflicted cannot exercise anv of the powers that attach to the particular office to the extent to which the exercise of that power would Involve a conflict of interest
6. There are only two ways In which the voting process could have been prematurely stopped: either by a decision of the independent electoral body itself based on objectively verifiable reasons or by an order of a competent court.
7. As the voting process could not have been stopped by the Acting President [given the conflict of interest point above], at law, the voting at the extraordinary Congress on 27 December, 2020 was never stopped.
8. Flowing from the foregoing paragraph 7, because the voting was never stopped at law, the results announced by the independent electoral body are presumed to be valid. They enjoy a presumption of validity.
9. The presumption of validity means that unless set aside by a competent court, Douglas Mwonzora is duly elected as President.
10.Any candidate in the election or any member of the MDC-T is entitled to approach a competent court to challenge either the validity of the extraordinary Congress itself or the conduct of the election of the President. The Supreme Court is now out of it because of the presumption of validity I have referred to above. However, until there is an order of court to the contrary, Douglas Mwonzora is the President.
Khupe yesterday held a standing committee meeting and dismissed Douglas Mwonzora from the party. Her spokesperson Khaliphani Phugeni said they were consulting Madhuku on the matter.