High Court rescinds Biti parly recall

April 15, 2021

LIVINGSTONE MARUFU

The High Court yesterday gave MDC Alliance co-deputy president Tendai Biti a new lease of life after ruling his recall from Parliament alongside five other lawmakers had been done by the wrong person.

In a ruling yesterday, High Court Justice Amy Tsanga dismissed a claim by Benjamin Rukanda to be the secretary-general of PDP (Biti’s former party) with some powers to withdraw him.

Five other legislators faced the same predicament.

Last month, Rukanda wrote to the Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda, recalling the six lawmakers.

“The High Court has ruled that Benjamin Rukanda, the man who fired Biti and five other legislators from parliament is not the secretary general of PDP, hence the High Court judge Justice Amy Tsanga’s latest decision has overturned the earlier decision a month ago thereby enabling the six to come back to the parliament,” one of the lawyers representing the recalled lawmakers said yesterday.

The recalled legislators were William Madzimure (Kambuzuma), Settlement Chikwinya (Mbizo), Nhlahla Pulu (Nkulumane), Sichelesile Mahlangu (Pumula) and  Mutasa South MP Regai Tsunga.

In March, High Court judge, Justice Sylvia Chirawu-Mugomba, ruled in March that the PDP faction led by Lucia Matibenga had the power to recall the party’s MPs and councillors who have joined the post-election MDC Alliance.

Justice Chirawu-Mugomba, in an extempore judgment, ruled that once a person supported another party, this automatically translated to “self-expulsion” from the party.

When the MDC Alliance was formed under the leadership of the now late former MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai, Biti and Matibenga went separate ways.

Biti and others joined the coalition under Tsvangirai, who was succeeded by Nelson Chamisa when he died in 2018, a few months before the elections.

Matibenga and her faction joined hands with the Joice Mujuru-led People’s Rainbow Coalition ahead of the 2018 general elections.

In a tweet on the party’s Twitter page, MDC Alliance said the recalls were part of Zanu PF’s attempts to destroy the opposition party.

“The continued capture of state institutions and the brazen attempt to dismantle the main opposition must be condemned by all progressive Zimbabweans. The people elected representatives and the will of the people must be respected,” reads part of MDC tweet.

MDC factions have suffered defections to the governing party, Zanu PF.

Former MDC members Obert Gutu and James Makore joined Zanu PF last month as more defections are expected from the MDC factions.

Senior MDC-Alliance officials and former legislators, Lillian Timveos and Blessing Chebundo also defected to the ruling Zanu PF party citing lack of direction and violent tendencies by Chamisa’s political outfit.

Another former MDC Alliance official Tracy Mutinhiri recently applied to rejoin Zanu PF.

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