MDC-T secretary-general Mr Douglas Mwonzora yesterday claimed to have taken charge of the opposition party’s affairs and locked up the party’s headquarters, Morgan Richard Tsvangirai (MRT) House.
This followed a Supreme Court ruling that declared Dr Thokozani Khupe the legitimate leader of the opposition and that the party should go back to its 2014 structures before calling for a congress in 90 days.
Mr Mwonzora, who reverted to being MDC-T secretary-general, said he would reopen the offices after the 21-day lockdown.
“I am the secretary-general and I am in charge of the day-to-day running of the party. I have closed the party offices up until the end of the 21-day lockdown. We have to follow the law,” said Mr Mwonzora.
Responding to alleged threats from Mr Nelson Chamisa’s close allies who are not happy with the Supreme Court ruling, Mr Mwonzora said he has only learnt about them through social media.
“We just read about it on social media. It is just political posturing.”
However, MDC-Alliance secretary-general Mr Charlton Hwende insisted that he was in charge of the day-to-day running of Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House.
“Mr Mwonzora is not responsible for the administration of the MDC-Alliance. He is in charge of the MDC-T that is led by Khupe. I am at the MRT House now and still in charge directing our Covid-19 strategy and intervention,” fumed Mr Hwende.
When The Herald crew visited the party headquarters to verify whether Mr Hwende was indeed there, the main entrance was locked. His mobile phone remained unanswered when The Herald later tried to reach him.
Political analysts said the chickens were coming to roost for Mr Chamisa and his backers.
A political scientist, Mr Richard Mahomva, said based on the founding MDC Constitution, Mr Chamisa is the party’s coup leader.
Mr Mahomva said although he was successful in fractionally instituting his presidency, legally speaking he was an illegitimate leader of the opposition.
“Mr Chamisa has been pushing anecdotal fallacy; alleging that President Mnangagwa is an illegitimate leader of Zimbabwe, when in actual fact he was the one who is illegitimate,” Mr Mahomva said.
“He has no locus standi to speak of legitimacy. The judgment has exposed him as a criminal in all scales of political legitimacy. “What we are seeing in the Chamisa-led MDC is self-serving deviation from constitutionalism. Rhetoric and passive loyalty is driving political personality cultism. This only breeds perennial factionalism in the Chamisa camp as his illegitimate leadership only breeds many other illegitimacies of power and contestations thereof,” he said.
Another political analyst Mr Ndinatsei Roger Pote said the MDC behaviour is not new to Zimbabwe’s political landscape.
“It’s no surprise. It’s not new to us anyway. As a party they lack the basic fundamentals and principles of a political party and ideology,” said Mr Pote.
Mr Chamisa’s political career, Mr Pote said is teetering on the brink of oblivion. Mr Collen Mharadzano said the MDC-A had always been parroting and hyping the narrative of constitutionalism, besmirching other political entries in the country’s body politic as ultra vires the established Constitutional order.
“Is this now not its Darmascene moment for the opposition party to walk its talk on this fundamental issue? What kind of nation will we be if we have political parties and individuals implementing and at the same time ignoring court judgments they ‘feel’ are good or bad for them. That will be the genesis of chaos as we see it in other failed jurisdictions,” said Mr Mharadzano.
He said Mr Chamisa needed to adhere to the laws of the land as interpreted by the country’s esteemed judiciary
“As it goes, a good leader is a good follower. The entire nation expects a loyal opposition to abide by the same country’s laws. “For the MDC-Alliance to pride itself as having many lawyers as claimed by the perennially excited Chamisa and at the same appear dim-witted in its analysis and comprehension of the law and subsequent prudent analysis is a matter for another day,” he said.
Mr Mharadzano said for Mr Chamisa to establish his legitimacy, he must swallow his pride, go to congress, play the game with others and we witness who will hit the rope first.
Former MDC-T spokesperson and lawyer Mr Obert Gutu said he has been vindicated since he has always publicly declared that the late MDC-T’s founding leader’s successor can only be elected at an extra-ordinary congress, in accordance with the dictates of the party’s constitution.
“Some political opportunists could not even wait for Tsvangirai to be laid to rest before they illegally and violently grabbed power. The supreme Court judgment is sound and unassailable,” he said.