MDC-T president Douglas Mwonzora’s spokesperson Lloyd Damba said that Nelson Chamisa should be arrested on contempt of court charges, claiming that he defied court orders to step down as the MDC Alliance president.
The MDC-T is claiming ownership of the MDC Alliance party name and has indicated that it will use the name in upcoming elections.
In a statement, Damba said Chamisa could not rebuke former Chief Justice Luke Malaba for contempt of court as he has continued disregarding a High Court ruling that nullified his leadership in 2019. Said Damba:
Chamisa is in contempt of court, not once but several times. He is still using the name MDC Alliance even when he knows that the name belongs to senator Mwonzora.
He is still calling himself MDC Alliance president in clear violation and contempt of the same courts.
The very same judge Justice Mushore, who ruled that Chief Justice Malaba must relinquish office because his term had expired nullified Nelson Chamisa’s presidency.
But he now wades into the Malaba case and celebrates the judgment. He did so when he himself failed to follow a similar High Court ruling.
We are in the process of reclaiming everything, but we will do it strategically and strategies are not for public consumption.
In March 2019, High Court judge Justice Edith Mushore nullified Chamisa’s MDC-T presidency and ordered the party to organise an extraordinary congress to choose a new leader within a month.
Justice Mushore’s ruling was upheld by the Supreme Court after Chamisa had made an appeal.
Meanwhile, MDC Alliance deputy party spokesperson Clifford Hlatywayo dismissed Damba’s threats describing them as “desperate” measures by the MDC-T to score own political goals.
Legal expert advocate Tawanda Mapuranga said Mwonzora and his allies were failing to correctly interpret the High Court ruling which nullified Chamisa’s presidency in the MDC-T party. He said:
Chamisa had no case to answer on contempt of court charges as he had ceased to be the MDC-T leader. Legislators under the MDC Alliance party were recalled from Parliament on the basis that they had ceased to be members of the MDC-T party, which justifies the ruling that Chamisa was not the leader of the MDC-T in accordance with the High Court ruling.
A contention that he is a leader of the MDC Alliance is now a clear political issue that cannot be settled using the courts. There has to be a clear distinction between legal and political issues.