MRT House battle: MDC Alliance takes appeal to Supreme Court
THE MDC Alliance is battling to retain possession of the Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House (MRT House) and has filed a notice of appeal to the Supreme Court challenging the High Court’s ruling which gave occupation rights to the MDC-T.
This comes after High Court judge David Mangota dismissed two applications filed by the MDC Alliance following a June 4 takeover of the property by the Thokozani Khupe-led MDC-T.
In two High Court applications for a spoliation order filed by the MDC Alliance, they had sought to have occupation by MDC-T declared unlawful and for an interdict barring them from using the facility, but both cases were dismissed with costs.
In the notice of appeal filed on behalf of the MDC Alliance by Mbidzo Muchadehama and Makoni Legal Practitioners, the Nelson Chamisa-led party want Mangota’s judgment set aside.
They argued that Mangota grossly erred in failing to grant the applications when the requirements of a spoliation order had been met.
“The court a quo seriously misdirected itself on the facts, which misdirection amounts to a mistake of law when it found that the MDC-T was one and the same thing as the MDC and that the headquarters of the MDC-T were MRT House when there was no evidence to support that conclusion,” read the application.
“The court a quo seriously erred and misdirected itself in holding that the mere fact that the MDC-T stated that its headquarters were MRT House meant that the owners of the property had confirmed the right of occupation to the MDC-T, which finding was contrary to the unequivocal position of the owners that it had granted the right of occupation to the MDC Alliance.”
The MDC Alliance further argued that Mangota had erred by considering in his judgment that MDC-T had a contract with the owners of the property when no such contract was produced before the court.
They said no such contract existed and that the owners were clear that they had given possession to the MDC Alliance.
Meanwhile, more MDC Alliance legislators have challenged their expulsion from Parliament, arguing that the decision to recall them was unlawful and should be overturned.
Senators Gideon Shoko, Helen Zvimba, Tapfumanei Wunganai, Meliwe Phuti, Phylis Ndlovu and Hebert Sinamapande, Keresencia Chabuka and Siphiwe Ncube and MPs Amos Chibaya, Happymore Chidziva and Murisi Zwizwai filed applications in the High Court.
The senators and MPs are represented by Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni Legal Practitioners and want their expulsion to be declared a nullity for non-conformity with constitutional provisions and for MDC-T to be ordered to pay costs of suit.
In an affidavit, Shoko blamed the Senate for accepting directives from MDC-T yet their party was MDC Alliance.
“The fourth respondent (Senate president Mabel Chinomona) acted unlawfully, in accepting and effecting a declaration from any other party other than a declaration from the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance, which sponsored us,” Shoko said.
“In so announcing our expulsion by a party other than the MDC Alliance, the fourth respondent exercised a quasi-judicial function under circumstances where she unlawfully failed to hear us or respect our due process rights,” argued Shoko.
“Further, having dealt with us for two-and-a-half years as MDC Alliance, she was stopped and barred from treating us any differently or giving us a new label or name without due process.
“Had she been acting objectively, without malice, bias or ill-motive she would not have acted upon or effected the glaringly unlawful declaration.”
Shoko argued that Khupe and reinstated secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora had no authority to write the letter of recall as they do not have authority to represent the MDC Alliance.
“In any event having been elected at a congress in October 2014, his (Mwonzora) term of office as an office bearer of MDC-T expired in October 2019.
“Factually, we never ceased to belong to the political party that we have been members of at the time we participated in the election namely the MDC Alliance — which sponsored us to Parliament and has not recalled us.”