The High Court on Friday ordered a rival faction of the MDC-T calling itself the MDC Renewal Team from subjecting party president and former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to a disciplinary hearing on charges of violating the opposition’s constitution and using violence against political opponents.
Following submissions by both parties last night, High Court judge, Happias Zhou, granted an interim relief to the MDC-T, represented by party chairman Lovemore Moyo and national executive member Thamsanga Mahlangu, barring a rival faction led by expelled secretary general Tendai Biti to subject Tsvangirai to a disciplinary hearing that was set for today.
Justice Zhou ruled that the Biti faction of the MDC-T must not implement any of the resolutions of their National Council meeting held at Mandel Training Centre in April this year, which suspended Tsvangirai and five other top officials, until a case brought by the Tsvangirai faction challenging the legality of that meeting is finalized by the court.
The Tsvangirai faction is also seeking to be declared the legitimate custodians of the party and want the Biti camp to return party assets.
The judge set aside any proceedings that may have been instituted after the Mandel meeting until the finalization of the same matter. He also ordered the Biti faction to pay the costs of the lawsuit.
The MDC Renewal Team had sought to bring Tsvangirai before a disciplinary committee to answer to 17 counts of allegedly violating the MDC constitution and using violence against political opponents.
The Biti faction also accuses Tsvangirai of unilaterally deciding to take part in the unity government without consulting the party’s National Council.
The MDC-T lawyer Douglas Mwonzora welcomed the court ruling.
Mwonzora, who is also the spokesperson of the MDC-T, said Biti and his group were intending to subject his party leader to a kangaroo court.
Attorney Lovemore Madhuku did not attend the court proceedings today while efforts to reach the spokesperson of the MDC Renewal Team, Jacob Mafume, were fruitless as his mobile phone was switched off.