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Nelson Chamisa has been removed as the leader of the MDC.

Zimbabwe's Nelson Chamisa Removed As Leader of Main Opposition Party

The Supreme Court of Zimbabwe has ruled that Nelson Chamisa is the 'illegitimate' leader of the MDC and has removed him from the position.

Nelson Chamisa has been removed as the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), according to the BBC.

The Zimbabwean Supreme Court ruled that Chamisa is the "illegitimate" leader of the main opposition party and has legally returned him to the position he held back 2015 of Secretary for Policy. Thokozane Kupe will now reportedly assume legitimate leadership of the political party, My Zimbabwe reports.

Last year, Chamisa appealed the ruling made by the Zimbabwe High Court which found his leadership of the MDC as being "unconstitutional and therefore null and void"––ruling in favor of Kupe instead. The matter was then taken to the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe which recently ruled against Chamisa.

Senator Douglas Mwonzora, who was reportedly restored to his position as the MDC's Secretary-General, spoke to the media following the Supreme Court ruling saying, "What is important is that the MDC that was led by Morgan Tsvangirai has had its leadership defined today. Our Honorable [Tendai Biti] knows that whoever is the leader of the MDC led by Tsvangirai, automatically becomes the leader of the MDC Alliance." Mwonzora emphasized that it was Chamisa himself who had in fact appealed to the courts to have the leadership of the political party defined. "There is no need to denigrate the courts anymore. The courts have ruled, and the courts have have ruled as a result of an appeal filed by Advocate Chamisa himself. So you can't say when the courts don't rule in your favor, it's null and void every time."

Biti, who is the MDC's current second Vice-President, has commented on the ruling saying, "My position is that we as MDC we held our congress in May 2019. Nelson Chamisa is our president and our next congress is 2024. Full stop." Biti added that, "The government is trying to usurp our party."

Following the death of founding member Tsvangirai in 2018, two major factions formed within the MDC as members disputed Tsvangirai's legitimate successor. Kupe, who was then Vice-President under Tsvangirai, has thus far led the smaller faction referred to as MDC-T while Chamisa has been hailed as the "people's president" and has gone on to lead the larger MDC Alliance.

While Chamisa has not yet commented on the Supreme Court ruling in his individual capacity, he has since removed his description as MDC leader from his social media accounts.


6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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