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