By Daniel Nemukuyu
The legal battle for the control of MDC-T pitting Mr Nelson Chamisa and Dr Thokozani Khupe must be resolved urgently, Chief Justice Luke Malaba has ruled.
Mr Chamisa is contesting a High Court judgment allowing Dr Khupe to use the party name and symbols.
Chief Justice Malaba, in his chambers, granted Mr Chamisa’s request for the Supreme Court appeal to be heard on an urgent basis.
The appeal has now been set for May 22.
Adv Thabani Mpofu appeared for Mr Chamisa while Professor Lovemore Madhuku represented Dr Khupe.
Mr Chamisa and Dr Khupe are locked in an acrimonious power struggle sparked by the death of founding party leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai in February this year.
The Chamisa camp filed an appeal at the Supreme Court challenging the High Court decision refusing to bar Dr Khupe’s formation from using the same party name, trademark, signs and symbols.
The High Court in Bulawayo recently ruled that an urgent application filed by the Chamisa-led faction was not urgent.
Justice Francis Bere (now with the Supreme Court), who presided over the matter, also ruled that nothing stopped Dr Khupe from running her formation under the MDC-T name.
The Chamisa-led MDC-T faction now wants the superior court to set aside the High Court decision.
It also wants the dispute heard afresh before a different judge.
In its grounds of appeal filed at the Supreme Court, the Chamisa faction argues that the lower court erred in making pronouncements on substantive issues not before it, and on which the parties had advanced no argument.
The court, according to the camp, erred in coming to the conclusion that the appellant had not instituted the proceedings before it.
The decision, it argued, was made without having any regard to appellant’s constitutive documents and/or operational statutes.