The small opposition MDC-T party was in turmoil on Monday after deputy leader Thokozani Khupe went to court to stop what she says is her imminent recall from parliament, as well as that of two mayors.
Khupe, through her lawyer Nqobani Sithole, filed an urgent application at the Bulawayo High Court to stop her recall together with Gweru mayor Josiah Makombe and Chitungwiza mayor Lovemore Maiko.
In the urgent application, Khupe says the MDC-T’s national council meeting held on November 26 reached an unlawful resolution to recall the trio.
She is arguing that the resolution to recall her violated the party’s constitution stating it was reached in the absence of Maiko, Makombe and herself.
“Allegations of politically consorting with an opponent political formation were raised at the said national council meeting willy-nilly in the presence of some accused persons, and in the absence of others so accused, and those that stood accused were not afforded the opportunity to be heard,” Khupe argues.
“Decisions adverse to persons were made against the beneficial interests of certain members or officials of the party without them being notified or afforded a response.
“The National Council of the MDC-T, by resolutions taken in the foregoing regard, violated Article 5:10 and 5:11 of the MDC-T’s constitution.
“The MDC-T national council also violated the basic principles of natural justice in that persons were condemned without being heard, and that the decisions thereof were arbitrary, these being no rational criteria to determine the alleged political infidelity of one.”
Tensions between MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora and Khupe have sometimes boiled over since she lost the party presidency last December. Khupe accused Mwonzora of “rigging” before reluctantly accepting the result.
Attempts to heal the rift with Mwonzora have so far failed amid reports that Khupe is in talks to rejoin the main opposition MDC Alliance.