Nduduzo Tshuma, Political Editor
THE former advisor to late MDC president Mr Morgan Tsvangirai has revealed that his ex-boss in 2016 ignored advice on the illegality of the appointment of Mr Nelson Chamisa and Engineer Elias Mudzuri as his deputies.
Last week the Supreme Court confirmed the High Court’s decision that declared MDC-Alliance’s Nelson Chamisa an illegitimate leader of the opposition party after he wrestled power a few hours after the death of Tsvangirai, the party’s founding leader.
The ruling came after Chamisa had appealed against the ruling by High Court judge, Justice Mushore which nullified his presidency, in 2018.
The judgment nullified Chamisa’s appointment as the leader of the opposition MDC party and also nullified the appointment of both Mr Chamisa and Eng Mudzuri as vice presidents of the party.
Commenting on the Supreme Court judgment in an article “Critical Analysis of the Supreme Court Judgment” at the weekend, Mr Alex Magaisa said Mr Tsvangirai did not heed the advice given after appointing Mr Chamisa and Eng Mudzuri.
“Technically, it is difficult to fault the finding concerning the 2016 appointments. Questions were raised at the time of the appointments (including in this column) but the advice was not heeded. If supposing that a challenge had been successfully brought to court at the time, there is every chance that a court might have reversed the appointments,” said Mr Magaisa.
He said it was important for the opposition to respect its own constitution.
“Those of us who raised caution in 2016 derive no pleasure at the turn of events. Another lesson is the problem of not challenging leaders when they are wrong,” said Mr Magaisa.
He said the outcome of the case brought to the fore the clash between law and politics.
“Any lawyer who has worked in politics or with politicians understands the difficulty of persuading politicians when laws stand in the way of political objectives. Politicians know they must follow the law, but they also know that their stock-in-trade is to make political decisions to drive political objectives.
“Advisers know that politicians must follow the law but they are also sensitive to the realities of political life. Sometimes decisions just have to be made.
“. . . As it has turned out, Tsvangirai’s decision was legally incorrect, as the courts have established, but if he were around today, he would probably still be sure that he took the right political decision. If you ask his many supporters, they also still believe it was the correct political move particularly given the direction that his would-be successors have taken since his death,” said Mr Magaisa.
“. . . Likewise, Chamisa’s ascendancy to the leadership may have been legally deficient as the courts have stated, but his multitude of supporters remain convinced that it was the right political move.”