MDC-T challenges court ruling on Banda

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Bulawayo Mayor Gift Banda

THE MDC-T is challenging a High Court ruling overturning the election of Bulawayo Deputy mayor Gift Banda as the party’s provincial chairperson, describing the ruling as questionable.

NQOBANI NDLOVU
STAFF REPORTER

High Court judge Justice Martin Makonese last week ordered a re-run of the MDC-T Bulawayo provincial elections and disqualified Banda from contesting, saying he was ineligible.

“Banda does not qualify and is disqualified to be a candidate for the provincial chairmanship of the MDC in terms of article 5,5,2 of the party’s constitution,” Makonese ruled.

The ruling follows last month’s provisional order nullifying Banda’s nomination.

Tsvangirai-M
MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai

Suspended Senator Matson Hlalo dragged the MDC-T to court challenging Banda’s election, citing irregularities and vote fraud. Hlalo cited the presiding officer and MDC-T chairperson, Lovemore Moyo, leader Morgan Tsvangirai and Banda as the first, second and third respondents, respectively.

Abednico Bhebhe, the MDC- T organising secretary, however, said the party was challenging the ruling after dismissing it as questionable.

“We respect the courts, but we will not comply with judgments that are a bit questionable,” he said.

“As far as we are concerned, the judgment was not correctly passed.

“To us, this is a default judgment that was created and not officially and correctly done.

“This is because either the courts did not do what it is supposed to do, or possibly the judge did not read the papers properly.

“Surely, it should have been picked up that no return of service was attached to those papers.”

Bhebhe said they were not served with any papers and the MDC-T was surprised at the judgment.

Banda was elected to the post of provincial chairman in polls that Hlalo, the main challenger, described as fraudulent, citing violence and rigging.