Khupe recalls Chamisa from Parliament as MDC succession battles escalates

Dr Thokozani Khupe has written to the National Assembly saying Kuwadzana East MP Mr Nelson Chamisa has been recalled as a legislator representing the opposition MDC-T.

On Thursday, Mr Chamisa wrote to Parliament saying MDC-T had recalled Dr Khupe, as both claim leadership of the opposition party.

In her letter to National Assembly Speaker Advocate Jacob Mudenda a day later, Dr Khupe said Mr Chamisa should be immediately recalled in terms of Section 129(1)(k) of the Constitution.

“This letter serves to formally advise your office that Hon Nelson Chamisa is no longer a member of the MDC-T party that is currently led by acting president Thokozani Khupe.

“Hon Chamisa’s membership of the party has been terminated after he has wilfully and deliberately violated the constitution of the MDC-T by passing himself off as the president of the party.”

Section 129(1)(k) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe says: “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 President of the Senate, as the case may be, has declared that the member has ceased to belong to it.”

Spokesperson of Dr Khupe’s camp Mr Obert Gutu said: “I can confirm that our leader, Dr Khupe, wrote to the Speaker of the National Assembly to ask him to recall Mr Chamisa from Parliament.

“We feel that this is the right thing to do and in line with the constitution of our party.

“We expect the Speaker of Parliament to respond promptly and act accordingly to our request because Madam Khupe is the legitimate leader of the MDC-T.”

Yesterday, Dr Khupe’s lawyer – Professor Lovemore Madhuku – told The Sunday Mail he would file a Constitutional Court appeal tomorrow challenging his client’s expulsion from Parliament.

“Our arguments are that Parliament is abusing its privileges. The Speaker cannot decide who or not to believe,” said Dr Madhuku.

“We have chosen the Constitutional Court because the High Court has handled matters like this previously, but it has not given its justification for taking sides so we feel that there is need to look at the constitutional provisions.

“There is no basis for saying that a person who has been voted into office can be recalled on the basis of a letter.”

Mr Chamisa’s camp says it has expelled Dr Khupe, organising secretary Mr Abednico Bhebhe and national spokesperson Mr Gutu, while national chairperson Mr Lovemore Moyo resigned.

Mr Chamisa seized control of the party as his predecessor, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, lay on his death bed, thereby angering the Khupe cam