By Thabani Zwelibanzi
MDC leader, Nelson Chamisa was dealt a massive blow Wednesday morning following a High Court ruling that nullified his ascendancy to the party’s vice presidency and ultimately the presidency.
The ruling followed an application by a party member, Elias Mashavire, who sought an order compelling the MDC to hold an extraordinary congress rather than an ordinary one to choose a successor to the party’s late founding leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.
Subsequently, a judge ruled that an extraordinary congress be called for within a month.
The extraordinary congress will be held using 2014 structures, a ruling that could open the door for the return of former MDC-T vice president, Thokozani Khupe, who now heads a party that broke away from the one led by Chamisa.
The judge, Justice Edith Mushore ruled that Tsvangirai’s appointment of Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri as vice presidents had contravened the MDC constitution and thus declared them null and void.
“The appointments of second (Chamisa) and third (Mudzuri) respondents as deputy presidents of the Movement for Democratic party were unconstitutional and therefore null and void,” the ruling read.
“The appointments of second respondent as acting president and president of the Movement for Democratic Change party were unconstitutional and therefore null and void.”
The MDC was expected to hold an ordinary congress later this month, but the ruling all but puts paid to this.
An MDC official said they were certain to contest the ruling, which he said would have the effect of suspending it, paving the way for a congress.
He said the party’s leadership would convene an urgent meeting to chart the forward. He declined to comment further, saying he was not authorised to speak to the media.