Zimbabwe main opposition blasts court for declaring Chamisa illegitimate

Nelson Chamisa

HARARE – Zimbabwe’s biggest opposition party, the MDC Alliance, said on Wednesday that the high court ruling declaring its leader Nelson Chamisa illegitimate was part of a grand plan by the state to infiltrate and dismantle it.

The party’s treasurer-general David Coltart said in a statement that the judiciary had to “contort legal reasoning to arrive at its judgment”.

He also accused the judiciary of acting like a political actor when handing down the ruling at a time when the country was on a 21-day lockdown over the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Sadly the perception that this is a political judgment is further enhanced by events which surrounded the handing down of the judgment,” he said.

Coltart singled out senior MDC Alliance members Douglas Mwonzora and Morgan Komichi as notable party members who had been allegedly working with the ruling Zanu-PF to divide the party.

“I have found their [Mwonzora and Komichi] duplicity breathtaking. History will judge them harshly. Moreover, we will be all the stronger without having such charlatans in our midst,” added Coltart.

Part of the judgment is that Thokozani Khupe, leader of “the other MDC”, should convene an extraordinary congress within three months to elect a new leadership.

However, the party’s second vice-president Tendai Biti said: “We’re the MDC Alliance. Our president is Nelson Chamisa. He was elected unopposed at the Gweru congress.”

The MDC Alliance Youth League added that its leadership had nothing to do with Thokozani Khupe’s MDC.

“We wish to reiterate that the captured judiciary cannot purport to give us a leadership. Our party’s leadership comes from the people and we held our congress in May 2019,” said Gift Siziba, the party’s youth league secretary-general.

Analysts say the MDC Alliance could lose its movable and immovable assets to Khupe and the state would try to starve the party of its share of political funding under the Political Parties (Finance) Act. Currently the party is owed ZW$7m