15 May 2019

Zimbabwe: Divided MDC Advised to Respect Courts

Johannesburg — A South African-based non-governmental organisation advocating for political vibrancy in Zimbabwe has urged the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) factions to heed the court ruling nullifying the emergence of Nelson Chamisa as party leader.

The High Court last week ruled that Chamisa was not the legitimate leader of the official opposition and that a new leadership process must be held within a month.

Judge Edith Mushore ruled MDC had violated its own internal processes in appointing Chamisa as joint- vice president in 2016. He would later assume the presidency controversially after the death of founding president, Morgan Tsvangirai, in 2018.

Luke Zunga, Acting Coordinator of the Global Zimbabwe Diaspora Forum called on the MDC groups led by Chamisa and former co-vice president, Thokozani Khupe to reunite.

"The judgement can be a blessing in disguise, because it is forcing the party to work together to correct a tactical fault," Zunga said.

"If I were the leadership of the MDC, I would immediately invite Dr Khupe to come and act as President of the party now, until the May Congress."

Zunga said preferably, the party must elect a president and delay the full elective general congress preferably to around 2022, close to the 2023 general elections.

"The delay allows time to cool down and unite the party, and deny President Emmerson Mnangagwa early knowledge of his opponent and from manipulating behind the scenes."

Chamisa's faction has hinted it would defy the court ruling.

"Further, the public would be skeptical of a party which failed to heed court decisions. The courts must be respected, as the last arbiter of disputes," Zunga warned.

Zunga argued parliament will declare that MDC parliamentarians from both factions were null and void.

Their seats could be declared vacant and by-elections held.

"If MDC then decide to rectify the irregularity and field candidates in the by-election half would lose the by-election. It would be shame," Zunga added.

He said the court ruling was a plot for 2023.

"When the MDC MPs are dismembered, they change the law of presidential age to disqualify Chamisa, and there will be few MDC MPs to argue against the motion and ample evidence of puerility."

Zimbabwe said the recent developments showed Zimbabwe is run on intelligence.

"Intelligence is to see ahead of your enemy. Without an intelligence system, MDC is sailing in muddy waters," he concluded.

MDC has suffered several breakups since formation in 1999.

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