Home » Governance » Biti Hammers Parliament Speaker Over Recalls

FORMER Finance Minister and MDC-Renewal secretary general Tendai Biti has accused Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda of “making a judgment legitimising” a faction of the opposition party lead by ex-Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

In his supporting affidavit to an application by four expelled Senators, Biti who is also representing the group as their legal representative said Mudenda should in fact admit to “the blunder” if he was misled into making the ruling.

“The net effect of the respondent’s decision is to effectively amount to a judgment that the Tsvangirai group is the legitimate group in our organisation,” said Biti.

“I contend that before decisions on 17th March 2015 were made by the Speaker and the President of the Senate they both had a duty to hear us as I had been in fact communicating with the same.

“At all material times the two officials had recognised me as a secretary general of the MDC and had in fact understood that there were now two centres of power in the MDC.”

On March 17, Mudenda ruled that 21 legislators who have aligned themselves to a faction of the MDC-T fronted by Sekai Holland and has Biti and former Energy Minister Elton Mangoma among its leaders should be expelled from the national assembly “because they have ceased to be members of the party under whose banner they were elected”.

The MDC-T split into two factions following vicious disagreements in the aftermath of the opposition party’s electoral loss in July 2013.

In the ensuing melee there were suspensions and counter suspensions as well as expulsions. Tsvangirai was hauled before an internal tribunal along with national chairman Lovemore Moyo. The two were expelled but not before they had tried to contest the jurisdiction of the tribunal.

Tsvangirai’s group also approached the High Court with three cases challenging a national council meeting convened by Biti at Mandel on the northern fringes of the capital, the ownership of properties among other things.

Two of the cases, according to Biti, were withdrawn by the Tsvangirai group. However, the former treasury chief claimed in his affidavit that a third case is still pending which made Mudenda’s ruling sub judice.

“In view of the fact that, HC 49514 is before the High Court and is centred on who the MDC is, the assertion by the 1st respondent in his ruling that there is no legal dispute regarding the legitimacy of the leadership of the MDC party in the High Court is false.

“If the 1st respondent was misled on this aspect and if he is sincere in his proclaimed respect for the sub judice rule and the principle of separation of powers, he must admit that blunder and consent to the Draft Order,” said Biti.

He said by withdrawing the other two cases in which there were some 130 applicants “challenging Mandel” the Tsvangirai group had “accepted his formation as the legitimate party”.

“The withdrawal of HC 495514 and HC 530314 has been turned upside down by the 1st respondent.

“Instead of treating the withdrawals as an acceptance of the Mandel Training Centre resolutions and therefore the legitimacy of our formation, the 1st respondent strangely thinks that the withdrawal gave legal title of the MDC to the other formation.

“The incorrectness of such a thought process is plain,” said Biti adding that he was convinced his party’s rights to protection of the law and administrative justice was violated.

Source : New Zimbabwe