MDC Alliance MPs, councillors bid to block Khupe recalls

Job Sikhala

A TOTAL of 51 MDC Alliance legislators and councillors have approached the High Court seeking to interdict MDC-T leader Thokozani Khupe from filling up vacancies created by ongoing recalls of party MPs from the house.

The MPs and councillors behind the legal action have not yet been expelled but have filed the challenge to pre-empt any attempts by the rival politician to recall them.

The group has deposed an affidavit through Zengeza South legislator, Job Sikhala who said it has now become very clear that Khupe wants to expel everyone despite her earlier indications that there will be selected individuals to be recalled.

Sikhala said they have seen it wise to approach the courts early before Khupe takes action against them.

“Contrary to their initial indications that they did not intend to recall indiscriminately, it has now become clear that they intend to recall everyone who does not dance to their tune,” said Sikhala in his founding affidavit.

MDC-T secretary general, Douglas Mwonzora was cited as the first respondent while Khupe is second.

MDC-T is the third respondent while the speaker of parliament and the president of the senate were cited as fifth.

Parliament was cited as the sixth respondent.

On May 5 this year, Khupe pulled a shocker after she recalled four MDC Alliance legislators from the house.

This was followed by yet another recall of nine other MDC Members of Parliament on June 23, 2020.

On the 1st of July, she struck again and recalled eight more senators.

Affected MDC Alliance members have challenged the actions and to this end, they have filed court applications declaring the said actions unlawful.

In the main application filed is case number HC2308/20, the MDC Alliance and others  are seeking an order against the respondents arguing that they have no power or authority to recall members of the National Assembly, Councilors, and Senators voted for and/or appointed to Parliament and Councils on the MDC Alliance ticket.

In addition, affected MDC Alliance members have made urgent applications for interim interdicts prohibiting the respondents from taking any further steps to recall the affected members, pending finalisation of the court applications challenging the lawfulness of their recalls.

In one such application, a provisional order has since been granted.

Sikhala said, “The recent conduct of the 1st to 3rd Respondents has shown that they are bent on causing the recall of MDC A members of Parliament who remain aligned to the MDC A and have rebuffed the 1st to 3rd Respondent, which requests have been systematically been granted by the 4th to 6th Respondents.”

The Zengeza MP said the applicants who were yet to be recalled were now very apprehensive of their imminent recalls as they have snubbed Khupe.

“Applicants now fear that Mwonzora, Khupe and their party may proceed to fill the vacancies created by their recalls despite challenges to their actions.

“Applicants also fear that the senate president and parliament and ZEC may go along with Mwonzora, Khupe and MDC T’ instructions to replace the applicants’ positions as Members of Parliament despite challenges to the Respondents’ actions.”

He said if not stopped, the chances of them filling applicants’ positions as legislators were high.

“The conduct of the respondents in purporting to recall some of the MDC A members prove they are prepared to go all the way.

“The applicants’ fellow comrades have already been harmed and they reasonably fear that the said harm will visit them if the Respondents are not stopped by the court,” he said.

The case is yet to be heard. – Newzim