BULAWAYO — The High Court has reserved judgment in the drawn out case between the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) and Matson Hlalo, its former senator in the Upper House.
In reserving judgement, High Court Judge, Justice Nokuthula Moyo said she would make a ruling at a later date.
Hlalo was fired from the MDC-T and recalled from Parliament last month.
He is challenging his recall on grounds that it was illegal for the party to do so.
In his founding affidavit, his lawyer, Godfrey Nyoni, said after Hlalo’s appeal against his expulsion from the party, he was not supposed to be recalled from the Senate.
“In terms of clause 5:2 of the MDC-T constitution, once I file an appeal against my expulsion from the party, I remain suspended for the time pending the hearing of my appeal. It doesn’t end there because the congress has to endorse the decision of the appeals tribunal,” argues Nyoni.
In his urgent chamber application, Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC-T leader; the president of the Senate Edna Madzongwe, and the Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda, are cited as respondents.
Hlalo had asked the courts to interdict Madzongwe from swearing in or allowing anyone from the MDC-T to take his Senate seat pending the finalisation of the court case.
The push to muscle out Hlalo from the MDC-T stems from a court challenge he mounted nearly two years ago, when he challenged the ascendancy of Gift Banda to chairperson of the MDC-T Bulawayo province.
Hlalo contested Banda’s victory in the High Court and got a court ruling in his favour, which interdicted Banda from assuming the position.
The MDC-T argued in turn that Hlalo’s court action defied a congress resolution for internal recourse to party disputes.
MDC-T secretary-general, Douglas Mwonzora, said Hlalo had been expelled from the party for defying a party position to seek internal recourse to disputes in the party by choosing to approach the courts.
The leadership battles in the Bulawayo province have also sucked in the national leadership, with MDC-T deputy president, Thokozani Khupe, being accused by Hlalo of masterminding the attempt to impose the Bulawayo provincial leadership. — Assistant Bureau Chief firstname.lastname@example.org
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