THE recent Supreme Court decision upholding Dr Thokozani Khupe as legal successor to the late co-founder of the Movement for Democratic Change (Tsvangirai) is a serious blow to Nelson Chamisa’s appointment as successor to Morgan Tsvangirai days after his death.
According to the party constitution, Dr Khupe was supposed to be the successor to Tsvangirai and was empowered to call an elective congress to appoint a leader to succeed Tsvangirai. But Chamisa had moved (excluding Khuphe) to form an alliance of his supporters against the requirements of the MDC -T founding constitution.
Khupe lodged a court challenge but the court ruled that the issue had become a moot point, which is legal term meaning the challenge had been overtaken by events. The events were that Chamisa (in breach of the founding constitution) had succeeded in bringing together a group of supporters to form an alliance of those who opposed Khupe.
The ruling upholding Khupe as the legitimate leader of the MDC-T, nullifying the claims of the MDC Alliance, resulted from an earlier appeal by Chamisa against the Harare High Court against the alliance leader. Justice Edith Mushore ruled that Chamisa’s presidency was illegitimate.
Before one can give an analysis of the Supreme court’s ruling on the political ramifications of the feuding between parties, one must note Justice Bharat Patel’s remarks regarding the breach of the core values (among other principles) on which the MDC-T party was founded.
“As I have noted earlier, Article 3 of the party constitution enshrines its status as a Social Democratic Party whose core values shall be solidarity, justice, equality, liberty, freedom, transparency, humble and obedient leadership and accountability”, observed Justice Patel.
Can the MDC Alliance (with all goodwill in the world) acquit itself, under Chamisa’s leadership, of charges of breaching all the founding ethos of the party with apparent impunity?
In urban areas and Matabeleland where the party enjoys a working support the MDC Alliance is hopelessly divided on tribal lines because the alliance seeks to impose the wishes of those of Chamisa’s own tribe.
He has openly “declared war” against other political organisations that seek to establish space in the political arena. Even more worrying is Chamisa’s open alliance to a religious organisation. As a political leader of his stature, why is he using religious affiliation as political leverage against those political parties that separate politics from religion?
He wants the best of both worlds.
After Justice Patel announced the court ruling, a party spokesperson declared that nothing had changed. Does the MDC Alliance believe in the rule of law? Soon after that declaration, media reports quoted a spokesperson for one super power as declaring its support for Chamisa. Is the MDC Alliance a proxy for a foreign power? We know what damage this can cause in stability of a country.
We have seen it in Egypt where a legitimately elected government was overthrown by a military junta. We have seen how Egypt has picked a quarrel with neighbouring Ethiopia over the construction of a hydropower station on the Nile which is Ethiopia’s right under international protocols. We have seen how, after South African president Cyril Ramaphosa as chairman of the African Union failed to resolve the issue, Egypt unilaterally referred the matter to a super power to intervene.
Zimbabweans may wake up one day to face a painful decision: whether it is not better to face the devil you know than to become a proxy for a super power which seeks to destroy those principles and beliefs on which the MDC Alliance was founded.
If you are a proponent of democracy you must be the first to practise all the fundamentals of a democratic dispensation. The MDC Alliance is guilty of trampling down on the ground all the democratic ethos on which the MDC-T was founded.
It therefore is not fit to rule a country that aspires to be an unqualified democracy.
Can the MDC Alliance (with all goodwill in the world) acquit itself, under Chamisa’s leadership, of charges of breaching all the founding ethos of the party with apparent impunity? In urban areas and Matabeleland where the party enjoys a working support the MDC Alliance is hopelessly divided on tribal lines because the alliance seeks to impose the wishes of those of Chamisa’s own tribe.