By Everson Mushava/Obey Manayiti
ANOTHER MDC official from Gokwe has filed an urgent chamber application to stop party leader Nelson Chamisa from holding an elective congress that is due to start tomorrow in Gweru.
Maureen Tawengwa, who was a secretary for Gokwe Sesame under the 2014 structure, yesterday filed a High Court application through her lawyer, Ashel Mutungura, seeking an order to stop the MDC congress from going ahead.
The application comes after High Court judge Justice Edith Mushore early this month ruled as illegal the way Chamisa and co-vice-president Elias Mudzuri were appointed by the opposition party’s late founding leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.
Justice Mushore ordered the party to hold an extraordinary congress to choose an interim leader who will lead the party to an elective congress to choose a substantive president in a case brought by another Gokwe Sesame district party member, Elias Mashavira.
“I can confirm the application has been filed with the High Court in Harare. It is an urgent application to interdict Nelson Chamisa from proceeding with the congress,” Mutungura said.
“There are several reasons; one being that the structures going to the congress are illegal. The 2014 structures are still in office and their term expires in October and new structures can only be in place after the old ones are dissolved.”
Other reasons include alleged fraud in the way the provincial congresses were held, with several irregularities that reportedly disenfranchised other members.
Irregularities cited were ballot staffing and conducting the congresses in the middle of the night, apart from using party members “who are conflicted” to run the polls.
Tawengwa also cited the nomination of alleged non-members, among them Tendai Biti, Settlement Chikwinya and Jacob Mafume.
She alleged that the cited members broke away from the main MDC in 2014 and formed their own party, the People’s Democratic Party.
Tawengwa said article 5.5.2 of the party’s constitution highlighted that people who desert the party should go through probation before they are considered for nomination, which she
said did not happen.
Chamisa’s lawyer, Advocate Thabani Mpofu, said he was yet to be served with the interdict papers.
“I don’t know anything about the application. I have not seen any papers,” he said.
Despite indicating that he would appeal against the Justice Mushore judgment, Chamisa is yet to do so.
The ruling, however, did not explicitly bar the MDC from holding the congress, which starts tomorrow with the election of youths and women’s assembly members for the main organs.
The youthful leader has been accusing Zanu PF of trying to frustrate the party’s processes, and vowed he would not be deterred from holding the first congress after Tsvangirai’s death in February last year.