Legal wrangling continues

BULAWAYO – The Tsvangirai-led MDC has welcomed t

he pro-Senate faction to the turbulent political scene in Zimbabwe.

“A group of former leaders of the MDC are exercising their constitutional right of freedom of association and could decide to form a new political organization. We continue our struggle to dislodge the Zanu (PF) dictatorship,” said spokesman Nelson Chamisa at the weekend.

He urged the newcomers to decide on a new name quickly to avoid confusion, saying the legal and constitutional position regarding the leadership of the MDC remained unchanged.

“Morgan Tsvangirai, as confirmed by the unchallenged High Court judgment of December 2005 remains the lawful President of the MDC until a Congress convened, in consultation with him, is held or until the High Court judgment is set aside by a competent court, whichever comes first,” said Chamisa.

“We have no doubt that our fellow citizens in the new political formation, the majority of whom claim moral constitutional superiority will uphold the rule of law and the Constitution of the MDC and do the right thing without being compelled to do so.”

Meanwhile, the pro-Senate group’s lawyers have said the faction would continue using the party name and symbol despite the High Court judgement, arguing that they were never instructed to appeal against the decision.

Nicholas Mathonsi, of Coghlan and Welsh legal practitioners said the High Court decision against them was based on “a technicality and not on merit” hence Tsvangirai was still irrelevant with or without the court’s judgement.

Tsvangirai’s lawyers, Dube, Manikai and Hwacha tried to halt the congress, saying it was not an MDC gathering and was in violation of the judgement by Justice Yunus Omerjee.

Tsvangirai’s lawyers said the pro-senate faction “may not act in the name of the MDC without lawful authority” hence “they have continued to act in defiance of the logic and principle of the High Court.”

However in his response Mathonsi said: “We were never instructed to appeal that decision because in our clients view it never altered the complexion of the matter.”

According to Tsvangirai’s lawyers, the High Court ruled that the national council that set aside the suspension of Tsvangirai was ‘fully constituted’.

But Mathonsi dismissed it as a kangaroo council in violation of Article 6:4 (a) and 6:4 (d) of the constitution, which states that the meetings should be convened by the secretary general.

“It is these illegal gatherings which purported to pass the resolutions that your client now wants to rely on and…shall forever remain null and void.”

He said a ‘proper’ national council appointed Esaph Mdlongwa to exercise functions of national chairman and conduct provincial elections in place of Isaac Matongo who had been dismissed from the party with Tsvangirai. – Own correspondent/CAJ News

Food runs out at Congress

BULAWAYO – There was commotion at the pro-Senate MDC congress last weekend as supporters denounced the leadership for failing to provide them with food and accommodation. They said they had spent more than three days without food. Some delegates from Masvingo as well as students from the University of Zimbabwe were stopped in their tracks as they tried to loot some food on tables meant for delegates.

MDC security personnel had to be called in to quell the commotion but the hungry delegates did not budge. The delegates said the party had failed to book them into reasonable lodgings, forcing them to sleep in the open without blankets.

Some women were seen with babies strapped on their backs trying to queue for food but the stronger youths pushed them aside and headed for the front where the food was being served. Acting president, Gibson Sibanda, apologized for the confusion saying the party had under-budgeted for the congress.

“This is the Zimbabwe we are talking about when we say that Mugabe must go. Look at what happened this morning. There was a lot of confusion and there was a shortage of food. We apologize to our members and supporters. This problem was caused by the ever-rising cost of food in Zimbabwe.- ANDZimbabwe

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