MDC-T in fight to save deputy mayor

MDC-T has filed an application for a rescission of judgment in an effort to save its dethroned Bulawayo provincial chairperson and city deputy mayor Gift Banda, who suffered a blow after the High Court ousted him in November last year and declared his rival, Matson Hlalo as the bona fide party provincial leader.

Senior Court REPORTER

The fresh development followed Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Martin Makonese’s default judgment in Hlalo’s favour in his application for review of provincial congress proceedings in October last year, disqualifying Banda from being a candidate for the provincial chair post.

In his founding affidavit on behalf of MDC-T, Banda said he was never served with the court application, nor any other person cited as respondents.

The presiding officer and chairperson of the organising committee, Abednico Bhebhe, MDC-T chairman, Lovemore Moyo and Gift Banda were cited as first, second, third and fourth respondents, respectively and are also the applicants in the rescission application.

“In these circumstances I could not file any opposing papers pertaining to the matter,” Banda said.

“I must state that if I had been served with the papers I would have filed opposing papers.

“I had filed my opposing papers in the urgent chamber application, a clear indication that I was opposed to the application for review, which the urgent chamber application was based on.”

He said they had not wilfully defaulted, but were not served with the court application for review and that explained their failure to file opposing papers.

However, Hlalo has opposed the application for rescission of the judgment, arguing they served the parties including Banda with the application.

He further accused Banda of coming to court with dirty hands, as he reportedly violated a court order barring him from acting as MDC-T Bulawayo provincial chairperson.

“The court order was granted after the applicants failed to file their opposing papers despite knowledge and serving of those papers on them,” Hlalo argued.

“The fourth applicant (Banda) was stopped from assuming office.

“The result and the electoral process still remained under challenge.

“I should, however, point out that despite confession by fourth applicant that he had been stopped from assuming office, he, however, went to Harare on November 1 2014 and addressed a congress preparations meeting as chairperson for Bulawayo province.

“He has no respect for court orders and the process.

“His hands are dirty and he should be refused audience by this court.

“The affidavits attached are clear in this regard.”

The matter is still to be set down for hearing.

Hlalo had appealed to the party’s national organising committee before taking the matter to the High Court seeking a review of the same congress proceedings, but the party responded by suspending him.

Hlalo filed an urgent chamber application seeking an interdict barring Banda from assuming duties of the provincial chairperson until his application for review was heard.

Justice Makonese granted the interdict and eventually dealt with the application for review.

In his ruling on November 6, Makonese disqualified Banda from participating in the election for the provincial chairperson arguing he did not meet the requirements of candidature.

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