via High Court dethrones Byo MDC chairman – DailyNews Live 14 November 2014 by Jeffrey Muvundusi
BULAWAYO – The High Court has nullified the election of Bulawayo deputy mayor Gift Banda as MDC provincial chairman.
Justice Martin Makonese yesterday ordered the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC to re-run the elections “in their entirety” and barred Banda from contesting as a candidate in the fresh election.
Plaintiff Matson Hlalo cited irregularities and Banda’s ineligibility to take over the leadership of the party because his membership did not span the five-year mandatory period.
Hlalo cited the presiding officer and party chairperson Lovemore Moyo as the first respondent, Tsvangirai as the second respondent, and Banda as the third respondent.
“The election conducted by the MDC presided over by first respondent and for the election of the party’s Bulawayo province chairperson be and are hereby set aside in their entirety,” Justice Makonese ruled.
“Banda does not qualify and is thus disqualified to be a candidate for the provincial chairmanship of the MDC in terms of Article 5.5.2 of the party’s constitution.”
He also ordered the party to conduct fresh elections using the properly constituted structure and upon presentation before the said elections, of structures, database in line with the party’s national congress template.
Justice Makonese ruled that if Hlalo is the only remaining candidate for the post of the province’s chairmanship “by virtue of Banda’s disqualification” and in light of the fact that nominations were closed, he must be declared as duly elected chairperson for the party’s Bulawayo province.
Banda was elected the provincial chairman in an election that Hlalo described as “ill-tempered.”
The ruling follows last month’s provisional order nullifying the electoral nomination of Banda.
Hlalo was later suspended by the party’s national executive for taking party issues to the courts before exhausting internal channels.
Hlalo was suspended after the National Standing Committee recommended his suspension before the national executive committee (Nec) endorsed the decision.