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Sibanengi Dube: ‘Corona Judgement’ designed to discredit Nelson Chamisa

By Sibanengi Dube

Zimbabweans woke up from their Coronavirus slumber to read an ambiguous judgement designed to discredit Nelson Chamisa’s MDC A Presidency.

Sibanengi Dube is a Zimbabwean journalist based in South Africa
Sibanengi Dube is a Zimbabwean journalist based in South Africa

The judgment which was passed a few hours before April Fool’s Day by judges Bharat Patel, Paddington Garwe and Antonia Guvava ignited blistering deliberations.

The content of the judgment is as confusing as its tone.  As to how the judgment coincided with the Coronavirus lockdown and April fool’s day confirms the derision surrounding this issue.  

Misinterpretations, analyses and insights are flying back and forth as Zimbabweans try to make sense of this ‘pandemic’ judgment which many dismissed as Kurumen fulmen (meaningless).

Some could not resist the temptations of taking snap volleys at Chamisa, demanding his exodus from the MDC T leadership. As to how he should leave a party that he is no longer a member is too preposterous to merit even as a passing sneer.

Some are conveniently calling Chamisa to respect the courts and do the honorable thing. None of them are unpacking the so called honorable action? What should Chamisa do? Amwire mvura sadza radyiwa naKhupe?

Shockingly others expect Chamisa to submit himself to Thokozani Khupe and participate in an inevitable MDC T extraordinary. Is the judgement ordering Chamisa to submit himself to another congress of the MDC which will be convened by a political protagonist?

Yes! The judgment literally nullified MDC T’s congress, so an extraordinary one should be on the cards, since Khupe was rendered an Acting President of his party.

Judging from social media exchanges and informal discussions I had with a cross section of Zimbabweans, what came out is the fact that the elusive judgment disturbed the citizenry leaving everyone more distressed by the economic meltdown and coronavirus pandemic.

The majority of sober minded Zimbabweans who opted to interrogate the case are asking correct questions.  Which Party was in court between MDC T and MDC A? What everyone cannot run away from is the fact that MDC T leadership wrangle spilled in the courts.

The question is how then has that to do with MDC A, a stand-alone party which is constitutionally defined outside Khupe’s party? Chamisa ceased to be MDC T member and leader, so how is he supposed to submit himself to a party that he is not a member.

Anonzi ibva ipapo ndeari paanonzi abve. The judgement also seems to have blurred two political parties into one, which they preferred to call MDC. The only MDC party which existed was led by Welshman Ncube, dissolved when it joined the MDC Alliance prior to the 2018 elections.

The judgement is not taking judicial notices of political realities which crystallised in 2018 and 2019 when both MDC T and MDC A held separate congresses. The courts ignored what state organs accepted as reality. Zimbabwe Electoral Commission  accepted and registered MDC T and MDC A as separate political parties that were allowed to contest the July 2018 elections.

Then there is another brigade that is outrageously calling for Chamisa to leave the MDC A Presidency. Why? What has the ‘coronavirus judgment’ to do with MDC A? One would be pardoned for thinking that the judgment was purely limited to MDC T and not any other political parties.

It would be understood if this gang was asking for Chamisa to leave MDC T leadership. Then the response would have been a clear reminder that Nero abandoned Khupe’s party long back. 

Energy Mutodi was the first to fire such an injudicious shot and was followed other apparatus in the mold of Morgan Komichi and Douglas Mwonzora, who shall be immediately joining Khupe in the political wilderness.

What immediately followed served to expose the objectives of the sponsors of the court case. The case also exposed the identifications of sell-outs who came out of their closets ululating and gyrating before uhuru. State media outlets then followed, spewing and screaming all kinds of deceitful headlines displaying flagrant disregard of facts.

The erudite Zimbabweans are however smart enough not to believe anything reported by the state media. The majority of Zimbabwe however came to terms with the fact that the judgment is purely academic as it was overtaken by events.

The political contest was civically corrected by the Gweru Congress. The courts made a decision based on an expired set of claims brought before it by Political Actors kingpin Dr. Lovemore Madhuku.

The judgment instantly jump started gluttonous claims of Harvest House by MDC T outfits. One wonders why they are bereft of any sophistication in concealing their intents and partners in this project of destabilising MDC A. It is clear twaddle for anyone to expect MDC A leadership to register any Party properties, if they are any, in the name of MDC T.

Attempts to deliver fatal blows have been stepped up. A false statement attributed to Chamisa was crafted and circulated in social media a few hours after the judgment.

The statement falsely claimed that Chamisa was about to step down because the judgment.  Chamisa dismissed the statement as a hoax. 

Calls are slowly gaining momentum for parliament to pay MDC T parliamentary funds meant for MDC A. The Political Finance Act allows funding of political parties with more than 15 MPs from the National Treasury.

MDC T falls short of the minimum political threshold, while MDC A is almost at par with the ruling Zanu PF. How does the judgment make MDC A MPs to be MDC T legislators? The level of desperation being displayed here serves to expose everything that is atrocious with this judgment.

The MDC A leaders consistently sang from the same hymnbook, maintaining that the judgment was not speaking to their party and will be ignored.

“It is of no effect at all. We will just ignore it and move on,” said the MDC Vice-Chairman Firebrand Job “wiwa’ Sikhala.

MDC Vice President Tendai Biti said that they will read the judgment and shelf it.

A law eagle and Vice President of the Party Welshman Ncube said:” Legally the MDC Alliance was not before the court and cannot be bound by a judgement to which it is not a party and which in any event is not directed at it. Politically the people always decide. Period.”

Sibanengi Dube is a Zimbabwean journalist based in South Africa

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