Mutambara Has No Claim To MDC – Court

The application was filed soon after the MDC January 2011 congress by the then party chairman Jubert Mudzumwe and a group of MDC politicians who boycotted it claiming it was convened against the dictates of the party constitution.

They were accusing then party secretary general Ncube of violating the MDC constitution through failure to invite all eligible delegates to the congress and usurping the powers of the party chairman.

Mutambara’s backers also claim the congress was conducted in the absence of national chairman, who constitutionally is the convenor of any party congress.

But Justice Bharat Patel on Tuesday ruled that the congress was convened as per party constitution and that Ncube and the rest of the leadership that emerged at the congress were duly elected.

He said he was convinced the failure by other delegates to attend the congress was not through their lack of knowledge over such party event but was a deliberate boycott by those opposed to Ncube’s elevation.

“… I am satisfied that the applicants have failed to establish any contravention of the provisions of the MDC Constitution that they rely upon for…,” said Justice Patel.

“As regards costs, I see no justification for the punitive award of costs claimed by the respondents, which claim was in any case properly abandoned by counsel at the hearing of this matter. In the result, the application is dismissed with costs on the ordinary scale.”

Although in essence he remains leader of the anti-Ncube group, Mutambara has delegated his duties to his chairman, Mudzumwe pending the conclusion of yet another High Court application that barred him from “masquerading” as MDC leader.

Reached for comment, Mudzumwe said he was yet to see the judgement saying he was engaged with wage negotiations at the Commercial Workers Union of Zimbabwe where he is a member.

“I have not yet had sight of the ruling and the reasons cited by the judge but the bottom line is we are still not convinced,” he said.

The dismissal of the application by Mutambara’s backers is the latest setback to the robotics professors’ bid to cling to the party leader.