Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Kennedy Kaitano: “The only legal requirement for registration of political parties is elections”

By Kennedy Kaitano

Political parties are voluntary organisations which, in most countries, are only legally required to register under law for election purposes only. There is no legal requirement for political parties to register outside the election season.

Nelson Chamisa and Douglas Mwonzora
Nelson Chamisa and Douglas Mwonzora

Parties will have constitutions to help manage their affairs, and that is a good thing for any organisation to do. And the constitution of political parties is just an administrative instrument which is only binding to its members.

The original MDC has split several times, the latest split being in 2018 following the death of the founding President, the late Richard Morgan Tsvangirai, May His Soul Rest in Eternal Peace.

The parties born out of that split fulfilled the only legislative requirement around registration of political parties. The Party led by Dr. Thokozani Khupe registered as the MDC-T maintaining the name the party was called by at the time of Tsvangirai’s death, while the other party born out of that split teamed up with other political parties to register as MDC Alliance.

There is no any other formal legal registration required above registering for elections.

Let me emphasize to Advocate Mwonzora and Mr. Komichi that the Agreement of the MDC Alliance is an internal working document between the stakeholders, and the fact that they registered themselves as MDC Alliance for the purposes for which political parties register for in Zimbabwe, and that is the only legally enforceable position. 

The Supreme Court may have made some recommendations for an extra-ordinary congress on the assumption that the two parties may want to get back together, but as far as my memory can go, I have not heard an intention by the leadership of the two parties to get back together.

What I have heard is Dr. Khupe saying she will never want to work with the people in the party led by Nelson Chamisa which she described as hooligans who are driven by mobocracy.

No logical court can frog march people with no common interests and values into holding an extra-ordinary Congress

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If there is such an intention on either side, let the spokespersons of the respective parties tell us, as that is the only scenario that would necessitate the holding of an extra-ordinary congress, which the self proclaimed MDC-T Chairman Morgan Komichi is frothing to the mount about.

Morgan Komichi and Douglas Mwonzora must be reminded that the MDC-T led by Dr. Thokozani Khupe already has in place a Chairperson and Secretary-General. I hope that the two gentlemen will not upset the holders of those offices in the MDC-T party who they have all of a sudden overthrown.

Hear it loud and clear from me, Morgan and Douglas, an Congress to re-unite the MDC-T and MDC Alliance will only take place when the parties in question are agreeable.

Your mission to re-unite the two parties is very noble for the creation of a united front against Zanu PF, and I hope you will not be deterred by by the resistance from either Dr. Khupe and her followers or by Advocate Chamisa and her followers. Be persuasive in your approach, but from my perspective, you have been a bit arrogant.

It would also appear that you guys (Morgan Komichi and Douglas Mwonzora) have decided to join the MDC-T led by Dr. Khupe,and as that party has been deserted by its Deputy President Advocate Obert Gutu and Information and Publicity Secretary Linda Masarira, it may be necessary to hold an extra-ordinary congress to fill up the gaps created by their departure.

Dr. Khupe will certainly welcome you with open arms, please just go and join her, and once you are elected into positions of office, you can then convince the rest of the leadership on the need to re-think the need to join with other political parties who are determined to end Zanu PF rule, and the parties you will have reached consensus with can then hold a unification congress, hopefully before the 2023 elections.

I hope you find my suggestion useful, and should you need to discuss this further with me, please feel free to email me, we may probably come up with a solution to extricate our beloved country from the jaws of Mr. Crocodile Emmerson Mnangagwa and Zanu PF.

I will not end without expressing surprise at the sudden change of heart of Mr. Morgan Komichi, who tormented Douglas Mwonzora during the run-up to the MDC Alliance Congress in May 2019.

For Mr. Komichi, no one else was supposed to challenge Advocate Chamisa for the MDC Alliance Presidency. It is a public secret that Mr. Komichi was bitter with Advocate Chamisa because he left Advocate Chamisa should have rigged the MDC Vice President elections in his favour.

Shame on you Mr. Komichi. You are such a shameless personality, and I would like to warn Dr. Khupe to have a re-think before they can accept you into their party, because you have proved to be a problem.

I would want the those who are celebrating the Supreme Court judgement to carefully study legislation concerning the registration of political parties and come to their senses before they continue to misled the world. Slow down, slow down.

From my perspective you are in the wrong direction. Calm down and find a more appropriate way of re-uniting the leaders who are founding members of the Movement for Democratic Change, and you will be thanked if you succeed.         

Note: Background readings on registration of political parties in South Africa, The United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Zimbabwe,  especially for the benefit of Professor Lovemore Madhuku, Advocate Douglas Mwonzora and Mr. Komichi. 

Registering a political party in the United Kingdom https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/party-or-campaigner/political-parties/registering-and-maintaining-a-party 

Registration of a political party party in Australia Political Party Registration