By Kennedy Kaitano
Dear Professor Madhuku, thank you for your legal opinion on the MDC-T Extraordinary Congress which has been made public both on social and official media. Your observation that Dr. Khupe could not stop an election process where she was a candidate herself makes perfect sense.
Dr. Khupe should certainly have presented her arguments to the independent electoral body that was conducting the election to view the shambolic and violent process. Obviously, she was overcome by emotion and couldn’t follow due process.
However, there are arguments that have been raised regarding quorum issues as the Congress did not meet the MDC Constitutionally required quorum.
I have pointed out in an earlier opinion piece where the Congress does not make a quorum, the results of any of the Congress activities will only be validated by an Extraordinary Congress, a view that is supported by legal guru Mr. Obert Gutu who is quoted in The Herald saying “…in terms of the constitution if the numbers of the delegates do not meet the quorum it doesn’t mean that the result is nullified but that another congress should be held to validate or invalidate the outcome”.
That said, and given that according to the MDC T’s own official position, 3000 delegates were supposed to attend the Congress, the Extraordinary Congress of 27 December was certainly inquorate, hence the results should await validation or invalidation by an Extraordinary Congress.
As the legal representative of the MDC-T, Professor, it is your responsibility to ensure that all the rules are followed to the book, otherwise, you also risk tarnishing your own professional and public reputation by endorsing an illegitimate outcome. The Presidency of Senator Mwonzora only becomes legitimate if it is endorsed by an Extraordinary Congress.
One point Mr. Gutu may have missed is that the Supreme Court ruling nullified everything that had happened, so every MDC-T 2014 should be allowed to participate in the Congress, and if they do not participate, that accounts for the quorum, and if there is no quorum, Dr. Tsvangirai cannot be replaced as presented by the Supreme Court.
Whether the Supreme Court will allow for an extension for the Extraordinary Congress to be held is a matter that you, Professor Madhuku, may want to present to the Supreme Court as the legal representative of the MDC-T, but my take is that the period given by the Supreme Court was given with full knowledge of the MDC constitution, so the Supreme Court judges who made that decision very well that within that time frame, an Extraordinary Congress should be held, and another Extraordinary Congress should be held to validate the result if the first was inquorate.
Besides the issues around quorum, there are also some serious issues of alleged money laundering by Senator Mwonzora around the same Congress which should not be ignored as the country fights corruption.
Den Moyo, MDC-T Chairman for the USA is on record saying he accompanied Dr. Khupe, Chief Ndlovu, and Senator Komichi to the bank to check bank statements and they confirmed $6 million had been withdrawn without the knowledge of the other leaders, and that money was given to Dr. Tapiwa Mashakada.
Yet Senator Mwonzora wants to make people believe that Chief Ndlovu was missing in action when money had to be withdrawn. This is a matter of serious concern to us as taxpayers. This money was allegedly deposited into a Bell Petroleum Account number 15104045502014.
Insiders say that Senator Mwonzora was very quick to move and make appointments to try and pacify Dr. Khupe, Senator Khomichi and others, telling them if this result is nullified, you may lose your positions in parliament and Senate, so every effort is being made to sweep things under the carpet and move on for the sake of avoiding another split.
There is also an allegation that some ruling Zanu PF officials who sponsored Senator Mwonzora’s campaign are the ones trying to block his investigation over the alleged money laundering charges. What matters to the taxpayer who sponsor political parties through the Political Parties Finance Act is that their money meant for specific institutions is being deposited into private company accounts, and this is what the auditors appointed to look into the accounts should look at.
The call for an audit is also said by insiders to be an attempt to show that every cent was eventually used, but as I said, what matters more is why taxpayers’ money is being used in a manner that does not look transparent.
And for Principled Senator Komichi who apologised to the country for doing things that were unconstitutional in the MDC, the country expects you to speak about these things. Did you, as claimed by Mr. Den Moyo, go to the bank with Dr. Khupe, Chief Ndlovu and discover withdrawals that had been made without the consent of the leadership?
How would you explain claims by Senator Mwonzora that Chief Ndlovu had absconded from duty and left for South Africa, and money had been withdrawn to ensure the Congress took place.
I would want to believe that Chief Ndlovu only left for South Africa after money had already been withdrawn from the account, was it to be his responsibility to grab the money back from Dr. Mashakada who the money was given to as alleged by Mr. Den Moyo in his interview with Gambakwe?
Be principled Senator Komichi, by accepting a sham process, you are regressing from your position you announced after the Supreme Court ruling that you have realised your mistakes and will not repeat them.
And for the President, Comrade Emmerson Mnangagwa to quickly endorse Senator Mwonzora’s election victory instead of getting allegations of money laundering by Senator Mwonzora is mind-boggling.
Here is a President who has declared zero tolerance on corruption, but is fast as lightning to endorse an alleged criminal? Perhaps it’s not his fault, he may not have been not privy to some of those happenings, but this allegation of Mwonzora’s scandalous financial dealings was published in The Herald of 29 December 2020, and one assumes the President takes a quick look at relevant media stories, and before congratulating Mwonzora and endorsing him, he should have checked the facts first. Is President Mnangagwa sleeping on the job?
Your Public response to this very thorny issue will be essential to clear the air, Professor Madhuku.