Zimbabwe: MDC Contests High Court Judgment

OPPOSITION leader Mr Nelson Chamisa yesterday appealed the recent High Court judgment that nullified his appointment as president of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T).

Justice Edith Mushore recently ruled that the decision by the late former MDC-T president Mr Morgan Tsvangirai to hand-pick two additional vice presidents was illegal and that the party should hold an extraordinary congress within a month using 2014 structures.

Mr Chamisa was one of the two vice presidents hand-picked by Mr Tsvangirai, but was later elevated to the position of party president.

The contested judgment followed an application by Gokwe district organising secretary Mr Elias Mashavire challenging the 2016 decision by the late MDC-T leader to hand-pick Mr Chamisa and Engineer Elias Mudzuri as his deputies.

However, MDC yesterday filed a notice of appeal at the Supreme Court.

Through their lawyer Advocate Thabani Mpofu, the appellants argued that the High Court did not hear their side of the story, violating their right to be heard.

"The court a quo erred in coming to the conclusion that first appellant was barred for failing to file an opposing affidavit and so erred in treating a valid affidavit deposed to by third appellant (Mr Komichi) as pro non scripto (as if they had not been written) and in proceeding to determine the matter without hearing the first appellant (MDC).

"A fortiori (from the stronger argument), the court a quo erred in proceeding in a manner which is in violation of the first appellant's constitutionally protected right to be heard before an independent and impartial court as envisaged by Section 69(2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe 2013," read the grounds of appeal. It will also be argued that the MDC-T constitution provides for the appointment of the two deputies outside a congress.

"The court a quo erred in not concluding that the appointment of deputy presidents in the first appellant was in accordance with the constitution of that party, had been mandated by congress and the highest decision-making organ outside congress and was for purposes, valid as a unanimous decision of the voluntary association."

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