Khupe recalls 9 more MDC Alliance lawmakers as court ruling awaited
HARARE – MDC-T leader Thokozani Khupe on Tuesday recalled nine more MDC Alliance Members of Parliament, deepening divisions in the opposition.
Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda announced that the lawmakers had ceased to be MPs, joining four others who were recalled in May.
The nine include Amos Chibaya (Mkoba), Happymore Chidziva (Highfield West), Basilia Majaya, Mucharairwa Mugidho (Masvingo PR), Virginia Muradzikwa (Harare PR), Anna Muyambo, Francesca Ncube, Nomathemba Ndlovu (Matabeleland South) and Murisi Zvizvai (Harare Central).
The recall is being challenged in court by four lawmakers forced to relinquish their seats in parliament and judgement is pending.
Khupe, who participated in elections in 2018 as leader of the MDC-T party, winning two parliamentary seats, is using the recalls as a battering ram to break down the resistance of lawmakers who are resisting her attempted takeover of the MDC Alliance party led by Nelson Chamisa.
A March 30 Supreme Court ruling found that Nelson Chamisa’s ascendancy to claim leadership of the MDC-T party in February 2018 was illegitimate, and ordered the party to hold an extra-ordinary congress within three months to elect a new leadership.
Chamisa, however, participated in the July 2018 elections as leader of the MDC Alliance, and his party insists that if Khupe’s interpretation of the Supreme Court ruling was accurate, it would mean she has two parties in Parliament – a legal absurdity.
“The MDC Alliance is a separate and distinct political entity from the MDC-T. The two can never be conflated. When people went to the ballot box, they had the choice of voting for the MDC-T or for the MDC Alliance. They voted resoundingly for the Alliance,” MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said June 18.
Khupe has moved to seize MDC Alliance assets with the help of the police and military, starting with the party’s HQ in central Harare. He was interdicted from claiming funds due to the MDC Alliance from Treasury, pending the outcome of a determination of whether she can recall MDC Alliance MPs.