But Khupe yesterday insisted she was still in charge by operation of the MDC-T constitution, while other party activists said acting secretary-general Mwonzora had taken over the leadership after being nominated by structures in Harare province.
“There is no such thing. No urgent application was dismissed and Dr Khupe is the acting president by operation of the constitution and the Supreme Court acknowledged that,” MDC-T acting deputy spokesperson Khalipani Phugeni said.
“The judgment did not expire, what didn’t happen is only the extra-ordinary congress. Everything else about that judgment is still in place. It didn’t expire, maybe until somebody goes to court and seeks a declaratory order to that effect, it did not expire. The extra-ordinary congress that did not happen, we are before the court now requesting for a variation of that judgment,” he said.
Fungai Chiposi, a member of the MDC-T information department and strong ally of Mwonzora, said his boss was now the legitimate leader of the party, while quoting an unnamed lawyer.
“A legal expert in Harare said that Mwonzora was already the MDC-T president. He is the only person who was nominated for the post of president by July 31. Therefore, he has been nominated unopposed and duly elected,” Chiposi tweeted.
The leadership fight between Khupe and Chamisa started way back in 2016 when Tsvangirai handpicked Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri as co-vice-presidents without going to congress.
Khupe, who had been elected the party’s sole vice-president, eventually fell out with Tsvangirai over the matter, leading to her ouster shortly after the former Prime Minister’s death, but she retained the party name and symbols.
In the July 2018 presidential election, Khupe contested as MDC-T candidate, while Chamisa ran under the MDC Alliance banner, but retained the MDC-T offices and symbols as well.
In March this year, the Supreme Court added a new twist to the wrangle after recognising Khupe as legitimate acting party leader, and ordering her to organise an extra-ordinary congress to resolve the wrangle once and for all.
Chamisa, who refused to recognise the court ruling saying he was no longer associated with the MDC-T, was taken aback after Khupe went on a warpath in June recalling his MPs from Parliament and seizing control of the party headquarters with the help of security forces.
Timba yesterday said since Khupe had failed to abide by the Supreme Court ruling, the MDC Alliance was now at liberty to challenge Speaker of the National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda and Senate president Mabel Chinomona to reverse the recall of its legislators and councillors by Mwonzora.
“This also means that those institutions and individuals such as the Speaker, who were hiding behind a finger and purportedly relying on the Supreme Court judgment to politically decimate the MDC Alliance through unlawful recalls, can no longer do so without shame,” Timba said.
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