At the height of political tension in the rank and file of the MDC in 2014, Honourable Tendai Biti wrote to you seeking to shield the nine legislators aligned to his faction from potential expulsion from the party. Honourable Biti’s letter was followed by a counter letter from the faction led by the late Dr. Richard Morgan Tsvangirai seeking the ejection of Honorable Biti from the August House. You responded by referring the case to the courts, arguing that parliament had no authority over internal affairs of a political party, and the current dispute is still pending before the courts.
In the 2014 MDC dispute, you stated that “I must reiterate as I have done in a previous ruling that the notification to the Speaker by the party that a member has ceased to represent its interest in the National Assembly and Parliament is all that is required at law to create a vacancy and for the Speaker to declare the seat vacant. Fast forward to 2020, MDC-T Secretary-General Mr. Nixon Nyikadzino wrote to you requesting the recall MDC-T legislator Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga, and you ignored the request. Honourable Hwende wrote to you requesting to recall Senator Mwonzora and Senator Komichi as they had ceased to be members of the MDC Alliance which is an officially registered Party with Parliament, and you ignored the request. But the request by Senator Mwonzora goes through without question, confirming that there is collusion taking place between you and the MDC faction headed by Dr. Khupe.
It is also important to note that in 2014, you stated that “It was prudent that I did not pronounce myself on the matter as it was sub judice and against the principle of separation of powers as set out in section 3(2)(e) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe”. In the light of that, one would have thought that as there are cases regarding the recall of MDC Alliance Parliamentarians by the 2014 MDC-T structures still pending in the courts, you would have followed the 2014 precedence and not pronounced yourself, but shelved all requests pending finalisation of pending legal cases
The Supreme Court has ordered that the Party should hold an Extra-Ordinary Congress to elect a President to replace the late founding President the late Dr. Richard Morgan Tsvangirai using its 2014 structures, a failure which the disputed leadership becomes water under the bridge. The work to prepare for the Congress has had a false start as one faction has not included another faction in the preparations for the Extra-Ordinary Congress. The factions created after the demise of Dr. Tsvangirai are still in existence, and the one led by Dr. Thokozani Khupe, who was reinstated as Acting President specifically to prepare for the Extra Ordinary congress, has put in place its own National Council and National Standing Committee against the provisions of the Supreme Court Judgement. On the other hand, other members of the MDC-T 2014 National Council who are the majority 2014 Council members, but are not included in the planning processes, have assembled and challenged the unconstitutional decisions being made by faction led by Dr. Khupe ahead of the recommended Extra-Ordinary Congress, and formally wrote to the interim leadership to seek an audience with the 2014 Standing Committee.
Bearing in mind that the Supreme Court Ruling did not conclude the leadership wrangle in the MDC-T, but only set a process in motion to resolve the leadership issues, you should not at this stage involve yourself with the internal politics of a political party in the same way as you could not interfere in 2014, but should wait for the process recommended by the Supreme Court to conclude. And this process is still work in progress. Furthermore, you are fully aware that there are cases arising from the previous recall of Honourable Thabitha Khumalo and Senator Lilian Timveous which are still pending in courts, which should have given you an adequate reason to withhold a decision, just as you did in 2014 when factions of the MDC wrote to you when you advised the MDC formations to get their issues resolved by the Courts. Why not you give the courts time this time around?
The resolution of the MDC leadership is still work in progress, your acceptance of a letter of the recall by one faction, and rejection of a recall letter by another formation proves beyond a reasonable doubt that you are biased in favour of the faction led by Dr. Khupe. It proves beyond any shed of doubt that Zanu PF, Parliament and Government are involving themselves in the internal affairs of opposition politics, taking sides with the weaker of the two factions in order to entrench Zanu PF repression. Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi has been involved saying he wanted to give money due to the MDC Alliance under the Political Parties Finance Act to Dr. Khupe, and Zanu PF MP Kindness Paradza has spoken on the Voice of America on the internal disputes in the opposition party.
In the 2014 case, you only accepted to eject legislators after the MDC held its 2014 Congress, in November of that year when it was explained to you in writing that Congress had followed the formal procedures to expel the Parliamentarians in question, who had all been invited to the Congress but had failed to attend. Please be informed that just like Zanu PF which you belong to, which followed the formal process to expel Honourable Killer Zivhu recently, the MDC also has its internal formal processes of expelling members, where the members being expelled are brought before a disciplinary hearing to give their side of the story, hence the letters you have received signed by Senator Mwonzora, who doubles as the Supreme Court reinstated 2014 Secretary-General as well as Secretary General of the MDC Khupe formation, are null and void as due process has not been followed. No such decisions can be made without the involvement of the full complement of the MDC-T 2014 Council.
Coming back to yesterday’s presentation in Parliament dismissing the legislators, I listened to you read “…members of parliament have ceased to be members of the MDC-T Party, and therefore no longer represent the interests of the Party in Parliament with effect from 23 June 2020”. According to your own Parliament records, the MDC-T has two legislators, Honourable Priscilla Mushonga-Misihairambwi and another whose name I cannot recall. According to your own Parliamentary records, Mr. Speaker Sir, the three parties represented in Parliament are MDC Alliance; MDC-T, and Zanu PF. Those are the official records you have in Parliament, so that is what all your decisions should be based on. The MDC-T as it appears in your Parliamentary records cannot recall MDC Alliance legislators, and the MDC Alliance cannot recall Zanu PF legislators, and Zanu PF cannot recall MDC-T legislators unless you are presented with a conclusive court outcome confirming the conclusion of dispute resolution processes in place.
You will be fully aware that there are legality issues pending in the courts, where three High Court judges Justice Joseph Mafusire, Justice Munangati Manongwa and Justice Chitapi all ruled that the MDC Alliance is a political party, although Justice Chitapi ruled that “although MDC Alliance had been given the status of a political party under the Electoral Act, this did not make it a legal person able to sue and be sued”. The description by Justice Chitapi that the MDC Alliance is not a juristic persona can be equally used to describe the MDC-T which also did not have a constitution in the name of MDC-T at the time of elections, so cannot be used against the MDC Aliance alone. Also note, Mr. Speaker Sir, that Section 129 (1)(k) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe that you used to expel the honourable members of Parliament does not stipulate that a political party has to be a juristic persona in order to qualify to register for elections, as noted by Justice Chitapi.
“A seat of a Member of Parliament becomes vacant if the Member has ceased to belong to the political party of which he or she was a member when elected to Parliament and the political party concerned, by written notice to the Speaker or the President of the Senate, as the case may be, has declared that the member has ceased to belong to it”
Section 129 (1) of the Constitution does not say that the political party sponsoring parliamentary candidates has to be juristic persona. In any case, the MDC-T is equally not a juristic persona if Justice Chipato’s judgement is to to be equally applied.
The argument by the MDC Khupe faction is that MDC-T owns all MDC Alliance parliamentarians. This is the argument that you may have used to expel the legislators, but again going by that argument, if the MDC Alliance legislators are owned by the MDC Khupe faction of the MDC-T, how then can you pronounce that they are no longer members of the MDC-T? You are therefore dragging the August House into MDC factional fights, discrediting Parliament of Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe as a country in the process. You know very well that the issues are being finalised in the Courts, but you brazenly proceed to accept a request by the MDC-T to recall MDC Alliance legislators.
One cannot help but conclude that you are still as scandalous as you were during the Willow-gate revelations. Your history of scandals is well documented, Advocate Mudenda, and even your deployment by Zanu PF as Speaker of Parliament stinks, and will continue to stink forever.
In conclusion, I will remind you that the MDC disputes are still an internal affair that the courts are resolving. This is confirmed even by the Zanu PF mouthpiece, The Herald, which writes “as the MDC blood-letting wars persist, the Dr Thokozani Khupe-led faction yesterday recalled nine legislators aligned to MDC-Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa.”. Hands off your dirty hands on that Party until all legal processes are concluded.
The remedy at your hands is to reverse the expulsions from Parliament made to date, and to stop any further recalls until the cases before the courts pertaining to expulsions are fully resolved, and until the Supreme Court ruling is fully implemented or otherwise.
The World is watching. God is watching.