Fungai Lupande Senior Court Reporter
THE Constitutional Court has dismissed Dr Thokozani Khupe’s application challenging her expulsion from Parliament in April last year.
Dr Khupe, who was the MDC-T Proportional Representation Member of Parliament, was expelled from the august house after Mr Nelson Chamisa wrote to National Assembly Speaker Advocate Jacob Mudenda, claiming that she no longer representing the opposition party’s interests.
Subsequently, Dr Khupe approached the ConCourt challenging the recall saying it was unprocedural and that she was still Member of Parliament for Bulawayo Metropolitan Province.
The full bench of ConCourt Judges led by Chief Justice Luke Malaba today dismissed Dr Khupe’s application with no order to costs. Dr Khupe and MDC were the applicants in the matter, while Parliament of Zimbabwe, speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda and MDC deputy national chairperson Morgen Komichi were cited as respondents.
Dr Khupe told the court that, having been elected MDC vice president at the party’s congress in 2006 and 2014, she is the rightful leader of the party, following the death of its founding leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai on February 14, last year.
“Regrettably, the passing on of our President triggered a vicious power struggle in our party. Many of my senior colleagues in our top administrative committee known as the Standing Committee, provided for in terms of Article 6.4.4, chose not to follow our Constitution, preferring to position themselves to their greatest advantage in the succession race,” she said.
Through her lawyer Lovemore Madhuku, Dr Khupe said she was not aware that a letter had been written to the Speaker of Parliament recalling her.
She also said her recall came after she had written a letter to the Speaker highlighting the leadership wrangles within the party. However, ruling to this application was previously postponed indefinitely after parties agreed to allow the High Court to first decide on who, between Mr Nelson Chamisa and Dr Khupe, is the legitimate successor of MDC-T late president Mr Morgan Tsvangirai. In May this year the High Court ruled that Chamisa was illegitimately acting as the MDC leader and he appealed to the Supreme Court.
The case of legitimacy was recently tabled before the Supreme Court and judgement in the matter was reserved.