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Bhebhe in bid to stop MDC-T extraordinary congress

Expelled former MDC-T National Organising Secretary, Abednico Bhebhe has filed an urgent application at the Bulawayo High Court in an attempt to stop the party’s extraordinary congress, set for this Saturday in Harare.

Bhebhe’s urgent chamber application filed on December 11, 2020 cites the party’s acting president, Thokozani Khupe as the first respondent, the party’s chairperson Morgan Komichi as the second respondent while MDC-T party is the third respondent.

Bhebhe said on November 13, 2020 under case cover HC 1973/20 he filed an application for review at the High Court seeking his suspension from his position as National Organising Secretary of MDC-T by Khupe via a letter dated November 29, 2020 be reviewed, declared unlawful and set aside.

Before that, Bhebhe said he wrote to Khupe on November 4, 2020, asking for his suspension to be lifted due to some irregularities and was allowed to remain an ordinary card carrying party member.

Bhebhe states while this matter was ongoing, he received a call on November 30, from his lawyers that they had a letter from Khupe confirming she had formally expelled him from MDC-T.

The party expelled him citing allegations of “grossly violating the Constitution of the party by supporting another political party other than the MDC-T”.

“It became necessary for me to seek to review both my suspension and my expulsion. Thus on December 10, 2020 under cover of HC 2119/20 I applied to have both my suspension and subsequent expulsion without my having been heard reviewed and set aside,” said Bhebhe who wants the High Court to first determine the legality of his expulsion before MDC-T holds the extra ordinary congress.

The former Nkayi legislator contested at provincial presidential nomination election in Bulawayo where social media reports claimed he had polled 170 votes, followed by Khupe who received 35 votes while interim secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora had seven votes.

However, the Election Management Consultant who conducted the MDC-T nomination poll, Reverend Anglistone Sibanda said Khupe received 59 votes out of 122 votes cast, making her the province’s presidential choice.

Bhebhe argued if MDC-T proceeded with its plans to hold the congress, its outcome would likely to be disputed.

“MDC-T’s congress is thus proceeding on the basis of antecedent illegalities such that should such congress be successfully held in the circumstances, it would herald the success of illegalities. It is necessary that pending the determination of applicant’s application for a review filed under case numbers 1973/20 and 2119/20, Khupe and MDC-T be interdicted from proceeding to converge the congress to elect its president on December 19, 2020,” he submitted.

Bhebhe is represented by Ncube Attorneys and the respondents are yet to respond to his urgent application .

Responding to questions on Bhebhe`s suspension from Bulawayo journalists at the Media Centre, Monday, MDC-T secretary-general, Mwonzora defended his party’s stance saying due process was done and Bhebhe was suspended first before being expelled.

“He was suspended on the basis that it was felt he had done something wrong for the furtherance of the interest of another political party and to the detriment of his own political party. He was suspended pending investigations…,” he said.

Mwonzora said although Bhebhe had challenged his suspension he had not yet challenged his expulsion.

“I’m sure you are aware of his famous affidavit in the court and you must also be aware of certain things that he had done. He was then expelled in terms of the constitution of the party after his suspension, challenged it in the courts and that challenge is pending. I think that it has been overtaken by events as he has not challenged his expulsion,” he said.

The secretary general claimed Bhebhe was not nominated to contest for presidency as fresh nominations excluded him.

“He did take part in the nomination that was nullified, which took place in Bulawayo. He did not win that nomination but when the nominations done at the National Council level he was not nominated and so on. So the circumstances of his expulsion were in terms of the constitution, which he has challenged per his democratic right and we await the decision of the courts,” Mwonzora said.   

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