THE Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC-T will approach the Constitutional Court appealing against parliament’s rejection of its demands to withdraw 18 MPs until a competent judicial ruling determines who are the true leaders of the opposition party.
BY PAIDAMOYO MUZULU
The MPs to be recalled include former secretary-general Tendai Biti who is now one of the leaders of a splinter MDC calling itself the Renewal Team.
On Friday, The Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda and President of the Senate Ednah Madzongwe turned down MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora’s request to declare the seats vacant.
But party spokesperson Obert Gutu expressed disappointment at Friday’s ruling.
“Naturally we are disappointed by the rulings which did not consider the current position that the case they cited as before the courts had been formally withdrawn from the High Court and that the party had held its congress which elected new leadership,” Gutu said.
The party says it formally withdrew its High Court case on November 7 2014 and the withdrawal papers were duly served to Biti and others who were respondents.
He added, “We think it was not the correct interpretation of the provisions of section 129 (1) (k) and to that end we will go to the Constitutional Court for a conclusive interpretation of that provision.”
Biti and company insist that they fired the entire leadership of the Tsvangirai faction at their Mandel Training Centre national council meeting hence they are the bonafide party leadership.
However, Gutu was evasive when pressed to reconcile his party’s position of recalling the MPs while at the same time saying they will not participate in any by-elections or general elections without the implementation of electoral reforms.
The recalling of MPs will trigger by-elections in 14 constituencies. the other four MPs got in through proportional representation hence they will be no by-elections for those seats.
“We will cross the bridge when we get there,” Gutu said tersely.
This is the second time in less than a decade that the MDC leadership is under contest after a split triggered by Tsvangirai’s alleged undemocratic tendencies in handling party issues.
In 2005 the party split along the middle of its 43 parliamentary seats and the matter went to the courts but was finally settled outside the courts. The party had split over the decision on whether or not to participate in senatorial elections.
Tsvangirai, despite losing the ballot in the national council, insisted the party was not going to participate in the polls, triggering the emergence of the pro-senate faction and the anti-senate faction.