The MDC faction led by Nelson Chamisa (MDC Alliance) has abandoned its bravado and has accepted that the recent Supreme Court ruling which favoured the rival camp led by Thokozani Khupe is binding on all party members.
On Wednesday, Farai Chinobva, a staffer at the MDC headquarters, the Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House, sent an invitation to all the leaders and members who constituted both the National Council and the National Executive of the former MDC before the death of founding president Morgan Tsvangirai in 2018.
The invitations were extended to all party officials who were eligible to attend the meetings including Thokozani Khupe, Douglas Mwonzora and Morgen Komichi among others.
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Mwonzora confirmed that he had received correspondence from the MDC Alliance’s Chinobva, but refused to attend saying, among other things, the convenors had no authority to do so.
In response to Chinobva, Mwonzora outlined a number of issues which had been overlooked by the Chamisa camp in convening the meetings. Mwonzora wrote:
I refer to the invitations that you circulated to members including myself yesterday about the above meetings. As you know I did not convene those meetings. I have checked with the Acting President, Dr Khupe, National Chairman, Senator Komichi and National
Organising Secretary Hon Bhebhe and they all profess ignorance of the meetings I have also checked with the deputy chief of staff Colen Gwiyo who is equally ignorant about these meetings.
Please note that you have no right to convene these meetings without my authority. In view of the recent Supreme Court ruling, no other person serve for the persons mentioned above are allowed to convene these meetings.
On top of that your invitation is on such short notice to the members. Given the numbers of people who are entitled to attend these meetings, your convening of the meetings is in contravention of the COVID 19 regulations.
That means you are setting leadership up for arrests by the police. You are no doubt aware of the hefty fines that the members would be made to pay.
You are also aware I hope that you expose the members to the possibility of being quarantined in the event that they are arrested I therefore direct you to cancel your invitations.
By copy of this letter, I hereby advise all members that these meetings have been cancelled.
Meanwhile, the Chamisa camp went ahead with the meetings at the party’s headquarters and issued a communique thereafter.
In the communique, the faction instructed Komichi and Mwonzora “to facilitate a National Council Meeting within 14 days on the 6th of June to respond to the Supreme Court judgement at a venue that achieves compliance with COVID lockdown regulations”.
The recent Supreme Court ruling annulled Chamisa’s ascension to the MDC presidency in 2018 and gave the reigns to Khupe, who was the only deputy president who had been elected at the party’s congress held in 2014.
Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri were made deputies by Tsvangirai in 2016 but the move was ruled illegal by the Supreme Court.
The Court also ordered the MDC to hold an extraordinary congress within 90 days to elect Tsvangirai’s successor as Khupe is the acting president.