HARARE – MDC-Alliance legislators have approached the High Court seeking an order barring the Thokozani Khupe-led MDC-T and speaker Jacob Mudenda from replacing them as lawmakers after they were recalled on April 3, this year.
In the application, the applicants are Lillian Timveos and Thabitha Khumalo, while the respondents are Douglas Mwonzora, Khupe, MDC-T, National Assembly Speaker Jacob Mudenda, Senate president Mabel Chinomona and chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) Priscillah Chigumba.
Timveos was the senator for Midlands Province, while Khumalo was the Proportional Representative MP for Bulawayo Province. The two were recalled together with Prosper Mutseyami and Chalton Hwende.
The legislators told the court that there were high chances that their positions will be filled if the court does not intervene.
“Applicants cannot wait until 6th respondent gazettes the vacancies for them to act. That will amount to waiting for the day of reckoning to arrive.
“Applicants have no alternative remedy to pursue in order to stop the impending replacement while their substantive matters are running their course,” the two said.
The legislators told the court that they participated in the 2018 harmonised elections under the MDC-Alliance banner, which had its own logo, name and symbol, which was different from that of the other political parties.
They further told the court that in all their communications with the electoral body, they did so as the MDC-Alliance.
“As indicated above, we are members of the MDC-Alliance and only the MDC-Alliance can pronounce on our fate. Secondly, it is wrong for the Speaker or anyone else to determine our identity or the identity of our party on anything else other than the process and procedures and documents that gave rise to our membership in our party. In the event of doubt, the records at Zec showing the forms we filed to participate in the 30 July 2018 elections would settle the dispute as to our identity as members of the MDC-A,” the pair argued.
They further said that Mudenda and Chinomona should not have “descended into the political arena” and make a judgment on contested claims.
The two are now seeking an order directing the “1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents or anyone acting through them or on their behalf be and are hereby interdicted, barred and stopped from replacing applicants as members of the Senate and National Assembly respectively by members of the MDC-T or any of their appointees.
“Sixth respondent be temporarily interdicted from gazetting the existence of vacancies in Applicants’ Constituencies for purposes of taking steps to have them filled by nominees of 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents”.