The opposition in Zimbabwe was plunged into more chaos when Thokozani Khupe convened a press conference today (Saturday) claiming she is now the legitimate leader of the MDC-T.
Bizarrely Khupe contested elections last year as leader of the MDC-T while her nemesis Nelson Chamisa contested as leader of the MDC Alliance and his party has since gone back to using the original MDC without the T.
“The judgement has placed me back as the leader of MDC-T I therefore accept the huge responsibility that it places on me,” Khupe told a press conference in Harare.
“There is therefore an urgent need for dialogue between all parties mentioned in this court order including the applicant on how we can implement it.”
Khupe said if the other stakeholders defied the court order she will follow the legal route to solve the MDC question according to the court order.
“To achieve this we have instructed our legal counsel to engage the other party’s lawyers so that we can dialogue and together map a way forward.
“This offer is being made without prejudice but let it be on record that in the event that the other parties are not forthcoming we are still open to other legal remedies,” Khupe said.
Justice Edith Mushore, in a judgement delivered on Wednesday, said former leader Morgan Tsvangirai broke the party constitution when he appointed three vice presidents months before his death. Further, Chamisa’s assumption of the MDC presidency following Tsvangirai’s death was “unconstitutional and therefore null and void”.
The judge directed the party to hold an extraordinary congress within a month using party structures that existed in 2014, the time of the last congress.
David Coltart, a senior MDC official and lawyer, said the judge was interfering with the MDC’s internal processes.
“It will be appealed. This is what is called a brutum fulmen – ‘empty thunder’, an ineffective order. By the time the appeal is heard a duly constituted Congress of the MDC will have been held and Nelson Chamisa elected. It’s a pathetic interference with the due process of a party,” Coltart said.