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Recalled MDC Alliance MPs seek recusal of judge in their appeal

Four recalled MDC Alliance MPs on Tuesday filed an application with the High Court seeking Justice Pisirayi Kwenda to recuse himself from presiding over an appeal against their expulsion from Parliament.

Kuwadzana East MP Chalton Hwende (second left) being sworn into Parliament. (Picture by Brighton Chihwayi - Photo Phactory Zimbabwe)
Kuwadzana East MP Chalton Hwende (second left) being sworn into Parliament. (Picture by Brighton Chihwayi – Photo Phactory Zimbabwe)

Charlton Hwende, Prosper Mutseyami, Thabitha Khumalo and Lilian Timveos were the first MPs to be recalled early this year by MDC-T interim secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora who accused them of supporting MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa.

Hwende is the MDC Alliance secretary-general, Mutseyami was the chief whip in the House of Assembly, Khumalo, national chairperson and Timveos, a former chief whip in the Senate.

Their lawyer, Tendai Biti Tuesday said the two sought to seek the recusal of Justice Kwenda ahead of their appeal application against unfair dismissal.

They claimed the High Court Judge had ruled on the matter of Basilia Majaya and Gideon Shoko who were also recalled from Parliament by the MDC-T.

“An application was made that Justice Kwenda’s hands are tied already in that he handed an extensive judgment already in the form of Basilia Majaya and Gideon Shoko in which he touched on the very same issues and provided judgment on the very same issues.

“So, the applicants felt it was better that another judge who has not applied his mind to the same facts would hear the matter because if Justice Kwenda was to sit and hear arguments, it would be like asking him to revisit, to sit as a court of appeal in his own judgment, which is not in the best interest for justice at all,” Biti said.

Thokozani Khupe led MDC-T has since recalled over 20 MPs and dozens of MDC Alliance councillors on the basis that they had vowed to support Chamisa.

Justice Kwenda reserved judgment on the recusal application by the four MDC Alliance leaders.

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