Reinstated MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora has placed legal barricades on a possible return to the MDC fold by former party chairman Lovemore Moyo.
Mwonzora has emerged de facto protagonist in a party leadership wrangle pitting former vice presidents Nelson Chamisa and Thokozani Khupe.
The MDC leadership quarrel climaxed recently with a watershed Supreme Court ruling placing the main opposition in the hands of Khupe and allies, Elias Mudzuri and Morgen Komichi, who was MDC-T deputy chair in the reinstated 2014 party executive.
Mwonzora has lost no time in flexing his muscles with a shock recall on four top MDC Alliance MPs from parliament, putting the Chamisa led MDC in disarray.
An anguished MDC Alliance faithful took heart recently when forgotten ex-MDC-T party national chair Lovemore Moyo was pictured with current party VP Welshman Ncube, fuelling speculation Chamisa could rope in the former parliamentary speaker to scuttle the Khupe led group's plans.
Lovemore Moyo and Welshman Ncube
Political analyst Pedzisai Ruhanya said if the Supreme Court judgement was to be applied as was fervently being argued by Khupe and her group, Moyo would have to retain his chairmanship post.
"If we are to go by the 2014 structures, I think he (Moyo) can claim his post just like Thokozani Khupe who formed her own party and held a congress and came back," he said on twitter.
However, Mwonzora was Monday quick to stick out a sharp elbow on the path of a possible attempt by Moyo to return to the MDC-T fold, declaring the respected politician surrendered his MDC rights by formally dumping the opposition.
"He is welcome to return to the party just like everyone else. However, the fact of the matter is that he can't return as chairman," Mwonzora told NewZimbabwe.com.
"This is because he resigned in writing. And by operation of our constitution, once a chairperson resigns, a deputy chairperson takes over as chairperson. So, Morgen Komichi is now the chairperson in terms of the constitution of the MDC.
Mwonzora added: "Secondly, if we go to the Supreme Court judgement, Lovemore Moyo was not a party in the Supreme Court.
"He (Moyo) is not mentioned in the Supreme Court judgement. Morgen Komichi is specifically mentioned by the Supreme Court judges and is declared to be the national chairperson of the party. So, for that to change, the supreme court judgement has to change."
Equally, Komichi was dismissive of a Moyo return saying the former Matopo lawmaker's case will be looked at in line with the party constitution.
"His case will be considered according to the party constitution. For details I refer you to the secretary general Senator Mwonzora," he said.
Moyo has however ruled out plans to bounce back to active politics, preferring to stick to his farming enterprise.