WHEN JUDGE SHOWED BITI ALLIANCE AGREEMENT


MDC VP and prominent lawyer, Tendai Biti was in court yesterday challenging the expulsion of MDC MPs from Parliament and was shown the Alliance Agreement by Justice Tawanda Chitapi.

 It was signed by the late Morgan Tsvangirai, which showed that the parties to the electoral pact would remain independent and separate, which the MDC-T argues means it has the power to recall MPs who were sponsored in the Allaince line-up by the MDC-T. The alliance allocated blocks of right of nomination to the parties forming the Alliance.

But Biti argued that the alliance agreement had died a natural death because the MDC-A was now a party.  Biti was also shown two letters, one written by Mr Hwende on March 2 this year, giving Douglas Mwonzora final warning. The letter was written on MDC letterhead not on MDC-A letterhead. When asked to explain, the lawyer could not offer an explanation. 

He was also at pain to explain why the letter recalling Victoria Falls mayor signed by Hwende on February 24, was on the MDC letterhead. He argued that the judge should “ignore the alliance agreement”. 

Prof Madhuku’s main argument was that the court could not hear the case for two reasons, that a political party had no inherent constitutional right to sue on behalf of Members of Parliament and that the MDC-A was not a legal person, being just an umbrella body for a group of political parties.

Prof Madhuku said: “Under our Constitution, a political party does not own Members of Parliament.” He submitted that the court should throw out the application on the basis that it was incurably defective at law, citing a number of procedural irregularities characterising the urgent application.

Prof Madhuku also argued the application, though disguised as an urgent chamber application, was targeted on Parliament and was essentially an allegation that Parliament will fail to fulfil its Constitutional obligations to protect the tenure of seats. Only the Constitutional Court had jurisdiction to deal with such a matter, he said.


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