'Chamisa ill-advised on court route'

HARARE - MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa and his MDC party are ill-advised in attacking the judiciary on the outcome of a recent urgent application filed by his party in which they sought to bar erstwhile former deputy president Thokozani Khupe from using the party’s symbols, analysts contend.

Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Francis Bere ruled that the matter was not urgent, and that the dispute was better resolved through arbitration.

After the judgment, the MDC attacked the verdict claiming that it was politically-motivated and meant to negatively influence the party’s performance in the forthcoming elections.

But the analysts blamed Chamisa’s advisers of making him choose the court route to address what was merely a political issue.

Political analyst Maxwell Saungweme said this is a case of political sour grapes.

“Chamisa and his conclave of heedless political jesters are entirely to blame for the court humiliation. It was so thoughtless for him and his cabal to take a purely political issue to courts. He credulously avoided going through an extraordinary congress to settle the successions issue.

“He opted for an un-constitutional and illegal way to usurp power using a caucus he made himself to believe was a national council.

“He showed his disregard for the law and constitution when he did the coup. It was therefore an act of duplicity to then try to go to courts to bar Khupe from using party name and symbols. He showed his deceitfulness in wanting to follow the law and constitutions when it suits him, but not always. Politics is not about that,” said Saungweme.

He said while Chamisa has the numbers at rallies, he lacks advisors who can dare tell him what he does not want to hear.

“We encouraged dialogue to settle purely political issues which litigation and grandiloquence at rallies won’t resolve. He should just eat it up. He lost a court case his outfit was an applicant and as a lawyer he should know the significance of that thrashing.

“If I were him, I will be reviewing the status of my advisors, in particular those that imprudently advised me to go to court in a case that was obvious I would lose.”
Saungweme said accusing Zanu PF of a hand here is harebrained, nutty and an act of hopeless denial.

“Labelling Khupe as Zanu PF is equally ridiculous as Zanu PF labelling Tsvangirai as an agent of the white westerners.

“It is not new that anyone who goes against the MDC gravy train is labelled Zanu PF or CIO. When Biti, Ncube and Sikhala defied the late Tsvangirai and formed their parties they were labelled Zanu PF and CIO operatives. Now that they are back to Chamisa’s outfit are they still CIO?

“Khupe must never lose sleep from being called what she is not by people who are so excitable that they take obviously wrong political turns thinking that huge crowds at rallies make them invincible. She must remain strong and pursue her ambitions.

“After all no one is guaranteed to win this election given the lack of reforms and an uneven playfield,” said Saungweme.

Crisis Coalition spokesperson Tabani Moyo said the Chamisa-led MDC is ill-advised in attacking the judiciary on the outcome of the courts.

“It should have known better and made a strategic decision of treating the matter as a political battle rather than a legal one.

“In approaching the courts, they opted for legal interpretation of political battles, which going by the outcome injured them, and should be, sooner rather than later, prepared to revert back to political strategies to wrestle for power, which is the ultimate goal of political organisations.

“And power in this regard is not in the opposition. The sooner this is understood the better for Zimbabwe as a whole,” said Moyo.

But is Khupe and allies being used by Zanu PF?

“I think our politics should go beyond student activism of labelling and throwing paste on the wall! It’s the easy option of blundering and shifting focus. Whatever is at play is a test of leadership that goes beyond personalities

“In essence it’s opting for easy politics and options... as Cabral would also say, ‘tell no lies, claim no easy victories’ to those that are going to town in narrow politics of personality attacks.”

Social commentator Rashweat Mukundu said politics is always periled when taken to non-political platforms more so those were power is bestowed on people to make judgment on your issues.

“While we cannot deny the existence of partisan rulings and politicisation of the judiciary in the past, the MDC would have benefited from dialogue.

“The cheering coming from other political parties on this matter demonstrates that it attracted unnecessary attention from MDC rivals and the default position is to relate the so-called victors with those opposing Chamisa.

“I think the MDC must concentrate on voter mobilisation and stop the court fights which are a distraction from the real business,” said Mukundu.

Political analyst Vivid Gwede said if Khupe and team are not being used by Zanu PF and pursuing their ambitions, then they are doing it a favour unknowingly.

“The ruling party Zanu PF wants a divided opposition to survive the next election so that anything that divides the MDC is welcome to them. This reasoning and other historical grounds of perceived court bias present the MDC led by Chamisa with genuine fear of infiltration.

“But then the worry is that they were the ones who approached the courts, hoping perhaps that the decision would be straight forward given the fact of Khupe’s expulsion from Parliament and her subsequently hasty and questionable congress.

“Whatever the case, this issue will be decided conclusively in the court of public support, with those with better numbers carrying the day. It is not a legal dispute but a political one,” said Gwede.

He added that if the parties could reach a political understanding sooner than later the better it would be for both.

Gwede said in politics anything is possible especially.

“Therefore, it cannot be ruled out that Khupe might work with Zanu PF if their interests align, although the basic issue is that they are just disgruntled and inconsolable about Chamisa’s meteoric rise ahead of them.

“For their own sake, one sincerely hopes they will not be used by Zanu PF to undermine their own contribution in terms of the democratisation of Zimbabwe.
“Anger is a bad compass for making political decisions that have far-reaching implications.”

Social analyst Rejoice Ngwenya said in essence, when one approaches a court, judgment can fall either way, thus MDC Chamisa should have been prepared for any outcome.

“Of course they have a right to be aggrieved as much as Khupe has a right to be elated. It is the law. However, if one gives (this) judgment a moral interpretation, you can understand why MDC Chamisa feels hard done by the invisible hand of political meddling — whether real or imagined, because Zanu PF benefits from fractured opposition.

“I, however, am not sure whether there is anything worth celebrating because our justice system’s credibility, Khupe might be celebrating an offside goal,” said Ngwenya.

Khupe’s deputy Obert Gutu said Chamisa and his allies are talking a lot of nonsense, utter and unadulterated hogwash.

“They went to court and they lost. They had a hopelessly weak case both on the facts and on the law. Next time, they should retain smart lawyers in order for them to get sound and proper legal advice. Now, they are going to be paying legal costs in excess of $50 000 and their party is dead broke!

“Justice Francis Bere’s judgment is unassailable. In fact, it is one of the best judgments ever delivered by a High Court judge. This judgment will be reported in the Zimbabwe Law Reports because it is historic and groundbreaking, so well-thought and well written. These guys should simply shut up and stop blaming the High Court for their sordid lack of intelligence and strategy,” said Gutu.

Asked if they are not being used by Zanu PF, Gutu said: “Anyone who is alleging that Khupe and her allies are being used by Zanu PF should go straight for a psychiatric examination. We are firm and strong believers in the values and ethos of constitutionalism, the rule of law and non-violence.

“We don’t need to be used by Zanu PF or indeed, by anyone else for that matter in order to passionately pursue what we believe in. Small and weak political minds are always quick to allege that anyone who disagrees with them is an agent of Zanu PF. This is nonsense.”

Comments (5)

What a biased analysis by Vivid Gwede? If Khupe's camp are benefitting ZANU PF knowingly or otherwise, it is the Chamisa camp to blame because it is they who chose to gain power through underhand means. Chamisa not think that an inevitable power struggle from disregarding the constitution would benefit ZANU PF? If he new this why did he proceed anyway? You cant have it both ways Chamisa.

rad - 29 April 2018

Vivid Gwede puleez, there is nothing wrong with "meteoric" rise to power, provided it is not thru nefarious and unconstitutional means. If it is all just about "meteoric" power rise, then lets not talk about Mugabe's Gukurahundi massacres to consolidate his power. And maybe, according to you, Mugabe was right to rig elections to get "meteoric" power. People must use constitutional and morally sound channels to get power, and Chamisa did not do that!!

Will Blackman - 29 April 2018

It is a privilege to have people like Maxwell Saungweme, who tell it as it is without fear or favor. Chamisa lacks credible advisors and the evidence is right there for everyone to see. The way he handled the succession issue, the message he delivers at rallies, the choice to attend independence celebrations and most recently the decision to take khupe to court. All of the above are examples of not well thought decisions. The opposition is in serious leadership crisis and that poses significant danger to the nation if they were to win the forthcoming elections

Rashid Hamisi - 30 April 2018

It is a privilege to have people like Maxwell Saungweme, who tell it as it is without fear or favor. Chamisa lacks credible advisors and the evidence is right there for everyone to see. The way he handled the succession issue, the message he delivers at rallies, the choice to attend independence celebrations and most recently the decision to take khupe to court. All of the above are examples of not well thought decisions. The opposition is in serious leadership crisis and that poses significant danger to the nation if they were to win the forthcoming elections

Rashid Hamisi - 30 April 2018

No one has bothered to question why Chamisa is scared of the Extra ordinary Congress. He should simply call for that & thump Khupe fair & square. Now hes choosing to hanging his soiled pants on the public washing line

Bhinikwa - 2 May 2018

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