Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Mwonzora does not have “the legal powers to appoint a vice president”

The Douglas Mwonzora-led MDC-T party’s national standing committee and national council members have been challenged by the party’s USA secretary, Andrew Chaponda to stand up and reject the appointment of Elias Mudzuri as Vice President.

Thokozani Khupe (centre) surrounded by Douglas Mwonzora (left), Elias Mudzuri and Morgen Komichi (right)
Thokozani Khupe (centre) surrounded by Douglas Mwonzora (left), Elias Mudzuri and Morgen Komichi (right)

The appointment was made by Mwonzora after he had controversially won the party’s presidency during the party’s extraordinary congress held in December last year.

He also appointed the former interim president Thokozani Khupe as his deputy.

Chaponda, however, told NewZimbabwe.com that the appointment of Mudzuri as Mwonzora’s deputy was illegal as it violated the MDC-T’s constitution and should not go unchallenged.

“No one in the MDC-T has the legal powers to appoint a vice president outside the constitution which is a congress,” Chaponda said.

“Reports that the standing committee agreed to some expedient, illegal desecration of our constitution by endorsing the appointment of certain individuals to electable party positions, are as unfortunate as they are illegal.

“The announcement is clear and presents a danger to the democratic and constitutional process in the party. It must be stopped by all legal means necessary.”

He added that Mwonzora had overridden the constitution when he made the appointment.

“Douglas Mwonzora, who is a lawyer, whose close advisors are also lawyers and has the singular distinction of co-chairing COPAC (Constitution Parliamentary Committee) that wrote the current constitution of Zimbabwe, he cannot be ignorant of the law and constitution of the MDC-T.

“The question is why is he disregarding the Supreme Court’s steaming hot judgment? It boggles the mind why Engineer Elias Mudzuri would allow himself to be duped, not once but twice to break the party constitution.”

“Mwonzora must be under some illusion that we have short memories and that he is the messiah we all have been waiting for and the time to throw away the constitution, values, ethos and principles of our party has arrived.

“All party appointments and reassignments so far made or being contemplated including at Parliament are a violation of the constitution. The MDC-T respects the rule of law, integrity and fair play. MDC-T stands for zero corruption.

“The MDC-T abhors those who violate the constitution, are corrupt, disregard or wilfully go against court rulings. Such cannot be entrusted with leadership. They are a danger to the rule of law and a drain on public confidence,” he said.

The extraordinary congress was done after a March 2020 Supreme Court ruling that declared illegitimate Nelson Chamisa’s leadership of the party left by the late founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai who died in 2018 after losing a battle against cancer.

But during the congress, Khupe was manhandled by supporters believed to be aligned to then rival presidential candidate, Mwonzora.