The Douglas Mwonzora-led MDC-T is seeking the arrest of opposition leader Nelson Chamisa on contempt of court charges, claiming that he allegedly defied court orders to step down as the MDC Alliance president.
MDC-T is claiming ownership of the MDC Alliance party name.
In a statement, Mwonzora spokesperson Lloyd Damba said Chamisa could not rebuke former Chief Justice Luke Malaba for contempt of court as he had continued to serve as the MDC Alliance party president, disregarding a High Court ruling that nullified his leadership in 2019.
In March 2019, High Court judge Justice Edith Mushore nullified Chamisa’s MDC-T presidency and ordered the party to organise an extraordinary congress to choose a new leader within a month.
But the youthful leader pressed ahead with his party’s planned political activities since then pending his appeal against the judgment, which he again lost at the Supreme Court.
“Chamisa is in contempt of court, not once but several times. He is still using the name MDC Alliance even when he knows that the name belongs to senator Mwonzora,” Damba said.
“He is still calling himself MDC Alliance president in clear violation and contempt of the same courts. The very same judge Justice Mushore, who ruled that Chief Justice Malaba must relinquish office because his term had expired nullified Nelson Chamisa’s presidency. But he now wades into the Malaba case and celebrates the judgment. He did so when he himself failed to follow a similar High Court ruling.”
“We are in the process of reclaiming everything, but we will do it strategically and strategies are not for public consumption.”
MDC Alliance deputy party spokesperson Clifford Hlatywayo dismissed Damba’s threats describing them as “desperate” measures by the MDC-T to score own political goals through dragging the courts into their rivalry.
“The Judiciary must not be dragged into mud by failed politicians. MDC Alliance is given its mandate by the people. Political prowess should be proven by votes and not the courts.
“Political parties are formed as voluntary association. How can someone boast of a party without supporters? President Nelson Chamisa will not be disrupted to defend the people-driven Constitution by political puppets that have been using State institutions to gain significance in the political arena,” Hlatywayo said.
Legal expert advocate Tawanda Mapuranga said Mwonzora and his allies were failing to correctly interpret the High Court ruling which nullified Chamisa’s presidency in the MDC-T party.
“Chamisa had no case to answer on contempt of court charges as he had ceased to be the MDC-T leader. Legislators under the MDC Alliance party were recalled from Parliament on the basis that they had ceased to be members of the MDC-T party, which justifies the ruling that Chamisa was not leader of the MDC-T in accordance with the High Court ruling. A contention that he is a leader of the MDC Alliance is now a clear political issue that cannot be settled using the courts. There has to be a clear distinction between legal and political issues,” he said.- Newsday