MDC president Nelson Chamisa reportedly rejected advice by former Constitutional Affairs minister and law expert Eric Matinenga to call for an extraordinary Congress soon after the death of founding president Morgan Tsvangirai in February 2018.
Matinenga voiced his opinion at a time when Chamisa, Thokozani Khupe and Elias Mudzuri, who were Tsvangirai’s deputies, were fighting for control of the party.
Using every trick in the book, Chamisa emerged winner leading to another party split after Khupe left with her followers.
According to a Newsday report, Matinenga told MDC officials that the party constitution was clear that the vice-president was supposed to take over under the circumstances. Khupe, as the elected vice-president, was supposed to take over.
In his affidavit, Matinenga said at the time:
The advice set out above appears to set the stage for a bruising fight between the constitutionalist, Dr Khupe and the majoritarian, Advocate Chamisa.
The advice set out above appears to set the stage for a bruising fight between the constitutionalist, Dr Khupe and the majoritarian, Advocate Chamisa,” he said.
It is important that Dr Khupe, Engineer Mudzuri and Advocate Chamisa find each other. None is indispensable. Any suggestion that any of the three is dispensable is politically naïve.
Such a naïve political stance will set opposition politics and multi-party-ism backwards.
The error being made here is to choose either constitutionality or majoritarianism. In this particular case, the two are not mutually exclusive.
An extraordinary congress will merge two positions. It will answer both the constitutionality and majoritarian arguments. It will provide, once and for all, the legitimacy to whoever is elected.
The contestations for power must be exercised within the parameters of the constitution.
The High Court on Wednesday ruled that Chamisa was appointed MDC vice president in violation of the party’s constitution, therefore all decisions he made since then are null and void as he is illegitimate.