from MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare
HARARE – THE Supreme Court’s ruling that Nelson Chamisa is the illegitimate leader of Zimbabwe’s official opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Party (MDC), has thrown the organisation into further disarray.
Zimbabwe’s highest court of order and the final court of appeal on Tuesday ruled that Chamisa’s succeeding of the late Morgan Tsvangirai in 2018 was unconstitutional.
It settles the bruising leadership wrangle between Chamisa and Dr Thokozani Khupe, who was Tsvangirai’s elected deputy but violence by Chamisa’s backers prevented her from assuming the presidency.
Tuesday’s ruling was another blow to Chamisa after the High Court last year ruled that he illegitimately came to power. This prompted him to appeal to the Supreme Court.
In a cryptic response, Chamisa appeared to argue the latest ruling was politically-motivated. He has previously branded the courts as partisan to the ruling party and destabilising his organisation by backing Khupe for the contested position.
“Dictatorship never wins,” Chamisa stated.
“Dictatorship always ultimately falls and so shall it be with all those who connive with it. People always won and the people shall govern,” he added.
However, Chamisa’s deputy, Tendai Biti, while addressing media in the capital Harare, was defiant of the court ruling.
He claimed the ruling affected the MDC-Tsvangirai (MDC-T) not the MDC-Alliance.
MDC-T was incepted into the MDC-Alliance following a pact by the opposition parties ahead of the 2018 general elections won by the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF).
“This is judgment is against an entity called the MDC-T. We are the MDC Alliance. Our president is Nelson Chamisa,” Biti said.
Welcoming the judgment, Khupe stated, “As the final arbiter of the law, the Court is charged with ensuring the people the promise of equal justice under law and, thereby, also functions as guardian and interpreter of the Constitution.”
MDC has emerged ZANU-PF’s major threat to power since 1999 but has been stunted by breakups and violent factionalism over the years.
Before his death in neighbouring South Africa, Tsvangirai appointed Chamisa to deputise him alongside Khupe and Elias Mudzuri.
– CAJ News