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High Court Judge Kwenda refuses to step down in MDC Alliance case

High Court judge Justice Pisirayi Kwenda has dismissed an application filed by recalled MDC Alliance MPs seeking his recusal from presiding over a case they are contesting their dismissal from Parliament by the MDC-T party.

A senior judge uses a fan to shield her face from the sun as she sits with others at the inauguration ceremony of President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the capital Harare, Zimbabwe Friday, November 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
A senior judge uses a fan to shield her face from the sun as she sits with others at the inauguration ceremony of President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the capital Harare, Zimbabwe Friday, November 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

MDC Alliance secretary general Charlton Hwende, Lilian Timveos, Prosper Mutseyami and Thabita Khumalo had filed an application asking Kwenda to step down from the case since he has presided over a similar case of 14 other recalled MDC Alliance MPs.

They filed the application through their lawyer MDC Alliance Vice president Tendai Biti.

Kwenda rejected the application , saying “I do not see the application or relevance of the ‘no-one is judge in his own cause’ rule to this matter.

He added that he was not persuaded that the applicants had shown that there was a sound basis for his recusal from this case.

“To withdraw from a case merely because a party suggests that a judge do so impairs judicial fairness. It allows parties to cherry-pick a bench of their choice,” Kwenda said.

The four were recalled from Parliament by the MDC-T for supporting the MDC-Alliance.

The MDC-T MPs were recalled this year by Thokozani Khupe led MDC-T party after the Supreme Court controversially ruled that Chamisa was not the legitimate leader of the opposition party left by late leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Khupe accused them of supporting Nelson Chamisa together with other MDC Alliance MPs, Councillors and Senators hence they were recalled.

The Supreme Court ruling has since been criticised by analysts who argued that it meant to destroy the main opposition.

Despite the fact that Khupe was rejected by the electorate in 2018 elections when she “garnered a measly 45,000 votes” she was Wednesday sworn by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration as leader of opposition in Parliament.

In the 2018 presidential election Chamisa was narrowly and controversially defeated by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, winning 44,3% of the vote to his 50,8%. But Khupe who came a distant third with 3,42% has been established as leader of the opposition.

Observers blamed Mnangagwa for working with Khupe and the MDC-T secretary general Douglas Mwonzora to create a one party state led by Zanu PF. Nehanda Radio

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