MDC-T secretary general Douglas Mwonzora is planning to block MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa from contesting at the upcoming extraordinary congress controversially ordered by the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe allegedly under pressure from President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Speaking on New Zim TV’s The Agenda Monday, Mwonzora said the MDC-T would not allow Chamisa to determine his competitor at any election by taking part in their congress as he already led a separate political party.
The Supreme Court in March this year declared Chamisa’s leadership of the opposition left by late leader Morgan Tsvangirai illegal and ordered the party to return to 2014 structures, making Khupe an interim leader and Mwonzora a secretary general before holding an extraordinary congress.
The MDC-T is set to hold an extraordinary congress before November 30 as directed by the Supreme Court.
But Mwonzora has already shut the door for Chamisa arguing that the main opposition leader had refused to respect the Supreme Court ruling for a long time.
Mwonzora and Khupe have already recalled more than 35 MDC Alliance MPs, Senators and Councillors for supporting Chamisa.
“Why does it take seven months for people to realise that they are wrong. From day one Senator Morgan Komichi and I spoke at the Supreme Court that we must honour this judgment, they refused.
“They went further to say they are no longer members of the MDC-T. They renounced their membership and in terms of Clause 5.10.a, of our constitution they automatically terminated their membership.
“If you terminate your membership of the MDC-T and you want to come back there are ways to do that. You make your application and your application is processed, considered by the national council and the decision is communicated to you by the secretary-general.
“Here are people who left the party, formed their outfit and their project is crumbling, everything that they are doing they are doing it wrong,” Mwonzora said in an interview with NewZim TV on Monday.
He added, “Right now, the legal position is that everybody who was recalled is no longer a member of MDC-T. Everybody who is a member of the Standing Committee of another political party cannot be a member of our political party.
“If you are a member of the national executive of another political party, you cannot be a member of our political party. If you are a member of the national council of another political party, you cannot be a member of our party.
“If you are a member of the congress of another political party, you cannot be a member of our congress, because it stands to reason, because you have your own political party, you have your own political project, you cannot be allowed to have a say on who your opponent is going to be.
“In this case, we are going to be electing a president. That person is likely to be our presidential candidate versus their candidate. How can they come to determine who their opponent is?
“Nelson Chamisa has said it himself; he is a lawyer; he is an advocate. He knows the constitution of the MDC and through his own mouth, he said he was no longer a member of the MDC-T and he went on to say he will never come to our congress, it is there.
“He said it is a Zanu PF congress and, therefore, he is not interested. Since when then Mr. Advocate has this ceased to be a Zanu PF project?”
Chamisa himself though has not said he wants to contest the MDC-T congress and remains firmly in charge of the much larger MDC Alliance which has a bigger support base.
On Tuesday, the Parliament of Zimbabwe swore in Khupe as official leader of the opposition in the National Assembly despite her being rejected by the electorate in 2018.