By News Editor
A former 2018 Mbizo parliamentary aspirant Charles Madhiwa who had lodged a court challenge to thwart MDC-T interim leader Thokozani Khupe’s dramatic return to parliament has withdrawn the application.
Madhiwa wanted to stop Khupe and her 14 party nominees’ march to Parliament, where they replaced recalled MDC Alliance MPs.
Madhiwa is a 2018 Mbizo parliamentary aspirant before he stepped down to pave way for the now legislator Settlement Chikwinya.
“We have withdrawn the urgent chamber application because it has been over taken by events, however the applicant is now seeking a final relief on the constitutionality of section 129k of the constitution and also challenging the validity of the Government notice of 2 October that confirmed the MDC T taking up seats belonging to MDC Alliance,” Madhiwa said after withdrawing the application.
Madhiwa had approached the High Court arguing that the, ‘“Respondents shall not administer or cause the sixth to 20th respondents to take an oath of office as a Member of Parliament nor occupy nor allow being occupied any seat in Parliament on the basis of GN 2553 of 2020 or of any appointment declared therein.”
He had cited speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda, Zec, it’s chairperson Priscilla Chigumba, Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda, Senate president Mabel Chinomona as well as Khupe and her chosen parliamentary candidates as respondents.
Madhiwa submitted that General Notice 2553 of 2020 was not consistent with section 157 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe in that MDC-T nominees could not replace another party’s members.
“The Government Notice 2553 of 2020 is declared to be inconsistent with section 157(1)(9d) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, in that it purported to award seats in Parliament said to be vacant to the sixth to twentieth respondents as nominees of MDC-T without ensuring that those nominated by MDC-T and appointed by Zec were members of another political party MDC Alliance, whose members had won and held those seats; and accordingly that Government Notice 2553 of 2020 and all appointments announced therein are null, void and of no legal force or effect,”
Madhiwa submitted.“I am filing this application as a matter of principle in an effort to stop people from one distinct political party being sworn in as Members of Parliament to fill seats won and previously held by members of another distinct political party, without any election.”
He said if this undemocratic and unconstitutional practice proceeded, it would be clearly violating the Constitution and would also alter the results of the 2018 harmonised election.
“If allowed, it will also alter the election results announced in 2018 by Zec and the chairperson, although under our law, changing an election result can only be done by a court ruling on an election petition, neither of which has occurred here,” he submitted.
“Zec has in effect usurped the role of the courts and purported to alter Zimbabwe’s 2018 parliamentary election results as proclaimed by itself.
“It will alter our Parliament’s composition in a way that is not, by any stretch of the imagination, based on the will of the people as expressed at the last general elections held in July 2018.”
Madhiwa said during the 2018 general elections, all voters and respondents, including Zec and Chigumba, recognised MDC-T and the MDC Alliance as separate opposition parties, irrespective of their legal nature.
He submitted that no party took part in the elections as MDC or Movement for Democratic Change.He added that the MDC-T and MDC Alliance each fielded their own candidates in those 2018 elections in competition with each other and with other parties and independent candidates.“I note that Khupe stood for president, while Yvonne Musarurwa, Lwazi Sibanda, Dorothy Molly Ndhlovu, Khalipani Phugeni, Tamani Moyo and Chief Ndhlovu all stood for seats in Parliament, all saying they were sponsored by MDC-T, and all unsuccessful,” Madhiwa submitted.“Piniel Denga and Teti Chisorochengwe also stood unsuccessfully for Parliament in 2018, at the time being sponsored by MDC Alliance, but later left that political party and joined its rival MDC-T, as of course they are entitled to do.”