52 MDC Alliance MPs challenge recall  

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Tarisai Machakaire

FIFTY-TWO MDC Alliance legislators who remained in Parliament following the recalling of 21 of their colleagues have approached the High Court seeking to interdict the Thokozani Khupe-led group from making further recalls.

MDC Alliance vice chairperson Job Sikhala, secretary for legal affairs Innocent Gonese, Harare West MP Joana Mamombe, vice president Lynette Karenyi-Kore, chairperson of the parliamentary committee on health Ruth Labode and 47 other legislators cited reinstated MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora, Khupe, MDC-T, senate president Mabel Chinomona, Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda and Parliament as respondents.
They want Khupe and Mwonzora barred and restrained from recalling or threatening to recall them from the House of Assembly or the Senate, or submitting any nomination papers or supplying the names of any other person for the purposes of filling up any perceived vacancies in Parliament in respect of seats held by members of the MDC Alliance.
They also want an order declaring that the “respondents or anyone acting through them or on their behalf have no power or authority to recall or replace the applicants who are members of the MDC Alliance and that in the event of such recall the same is null and void and is set aside”.
In an affidavit he deposed, Sikhala raised fears that the Khupe group would recall them in the same fashion used on their 21 colleagues who have been recalled from Parliament.
The MDC Alliance and the recalled parliamentarians have challenged the respondents’ actions in court and the matters are pending.
Recently, High Court judge Joseph Mafusire barred Parliament and MDC-T from filling positions of two legislators, Lilian Timveous and Thabitha Khumalo, who had been recalled in the same manner, which the Khupe group has appealed against.
“We have no doubt in our minds that the respondents are angling for our recalls too. They clearly do not intend to stop their unlawful actions even in the face of various challenges brought against their conduct. The applicants now harbour real fears that they will soon be recalled,” Sikhala said.
“The respondents cannot descend, as they did in respect of our colleagues, into a political arena and make a judgment on a clearly contested matter.
“Their decisions and findings that our colleagues and by parity of their reasoning, us too, belong to the MDC-T was and will be a quasi-judicial decision which they are not qualified to make.
“They must satisfy themselves that the party purporting to make the declaration of recall is from the party which sponsored us in the election.”
Sikhala said Mudenda and Chinomona must not accept any letters of recall from any party other than the MDC Alliance which sponsored them during the 2018 elections, which saw them winning the said parliamentary seats.
He queried why Mudenda and Chinomona had started to doubt their entitlement to sit in Parliament yet they had
dealt with them as MDC Alliance for the past two-and-a-half years.
“Their actions amount to a fraud on the electorate. Millions of Zimbabweans voted for an entity known as the MDC Alliance. It will be a fraud on the people of Zimbabwe to convert the people’s vote for the MDC Alliance into one for the MDC-T,” added Sikhala.
“If this is permitted, it will go down in the electoral history of this country as the greatest electoral theft upon the country’s electorate. It will put the entire electoral system into disrepute.
“It will bring the conduct of our electoral institutions into ridicule. It means the electorate cannot trust the country’s electoral system to protect the efficacy of their vote. This is simply untenable.”

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