We are living in very interesting political times. So The Herald has it that quotes Advocate Douglas Mwonzora as saying that preparations for the “MDC-T elective congress” as being on course, with an expectation to announce the dates and venue by end of April 2020. I am not too sure if its still an Extra-Ordinary Congress to elect the President who will serve for the remaining term of office which should have come to an end in 2019, or it’s now an elective Congress as The Herald quotes Advocate Mwonzora to be saying.
If so much progress has been made, one would assume that the Council as at 2014 has been convened to have started the deliberations. I am aware there is the shutdown, but with information and communication technology, one cannot rule out the possibility of a Zoom meeting, or some other technology being used. If Advocate Mwonzora did not have that interview, then he should come open and refuse the Herald story. If he did indeed speak to the Herald and said what is reported,he may need to explain details of these preparations and who he has been meeting with in this planning process to make it meet the Supreme Court requirements.
Meanwhile, I got tapped on the shoulder by a comrade who thought I had got things wrong in the previous opinion pieces that I had written on the Supreme Court Judgement. I am human, and also not a lawyer, so indeed I can make errors here and there. After a good read of the Supreme Court judgement, I was convinced the Supreme Court preferred that an Extra-Ordinary Congress should be held in the phrase “notwithstanding the political mootness of this matter, it is imperative that there should be an authoritative determination of this appeal in the interests of justice”. In my understanding, this is more of an appeal to the parties involved, not a must do as some people, including Advocates Obert Gutu and Douglas Mwonzora, would have understood it to mean. The Supreme Court sees it as of vital importance to have it done and not a must as the court does not say there will be any penalty for not holding the Extra-Ordinary Congress. After all, the Court gave a time limit of four months within which the Congress has to be held, and in my view, if that four months lapses, then its reverts to being water under the bridge, hence it is an academic judgement, in my view in which the court only wishes that the Extra-Ordinary Congress be held.
The one thing that I disagreed with the colleague who tapped me on the shoulder is his opinion that Senator Morgan Komichi was justified to speak for the National Chairman. If the court ruled that the Extra-Ordinary Congress be organised by the 2014 structures, then the Chairman who should be involved is Mr. Lovemore Moyo, not Senator Komichi. If Senator Komichi imposes himself as Chair again, I will make a court appeal for such violation of the Court ruling.
Some people have said this is an opportunity to re-unite the party, a very good wish, something good if achievable, but as I have said before, you can only re-unite people who are wiling to unite, you cannot force unity among people who are not like minded. Advocate Obert Gutu was interviewed after the Supreme Court judgement and correctly said he is available to work with anyone who is fair minded and of democratic orientation. So if I may ask Advocate Gutu, when you were jumping up and down with excitement about the prospects of an Extra-Ordinary Congress, did you ever stop to think if the majority of the delegates to that supposed Congress who support the party led by Advocate Chamisa who you have described in very negative terms have reformed well enough to meet your standards so you can be able to attend the same Extra-Ordinary Congress with them?
Very interesting is that Elias Mashavira, the man who filed the appeal is reported as being against Advocate Mwonzora and Senator Komichi being involved in the MDC-T, while the Secretary-General of the MDC-T led by Dr. Khupe and another official Tarisai Chikuvanganga have reportedly locked Advocate Mwonzora and Senator Komichi out of the legislated MDC-T which participated in the 2018 elections and won some seats in Parliament. I think these men have a legal and constitutional right to do so. The MDC-T led by Dr. Khupe and the MDC Alliance led by Advocate Chamisa held their congresses in 2018 and 2019 respectively with delegates to both exercising their constitutionally mandated freedom to associate, hence their voices also need to be heard before a suggestion is made to dissolve them irrespective of their freedom to dissociate and associate with organisations they dislike and like respectively.
At the expense of being repetitive, I would like to reiterate my earlier arguments that political parties the world can only officially and legally register with the elections commission, and the MDC-T and MDC Alliance are legally registered entities, a factor which the Supreme Court judges may have overlooked. And the Supreme Court judgement is not mandatory, but suggestive.
There is need for a united front of mutually acceptable partners to fight off Zanu PF which has caused so much suffering to the people of Zimbabwe, whose President Comrade Emmerson Mnangagwa has vowed she “will continue supporting”, but people who are supporting Mnangagwa and those trying to fight him can’t unite to fight him.