It is very true that the year 2020 has had a fair share of its political absurdities particularly in the opposition. Depending on how one looks at it there is a tendency to apportion authority to an opinion.
Clearly Alex Magaisa has a particular narrative which has a propaganda slant that he continues to sell. The narrative tries hard to circumvent the facts underlying the MDC T saga. While it is very true and factual that Chamisa and Khupe headed factions of the MDC T as left by Tsvangirai it is a grievous misnomer to factualise Khupe’s faction as such. The facts remain that both Chamisa and Khupe claimed leadership of the MDC T left by Tsvangirai. The same MDC T that is part of the MDC Alliance 7 party conglomeration. Chamisa headed the Alliance on the strength of “heading” the MDC T left by Tsvangirai. That is the MDC T that was subject to the court processes. That is the same MDC T whose leadership dispute was determined by the High Court and Supreme Court respectively. In their findings the courts determined that between Chamisa and Khupe, Khupe was the legitimate interim leader of the MDC T left by Tsvangirai pending the holding of an Extraordinary Congress to elect Tsvangirai’s replacement as per MDC constitution. The dispute is not between the MDC T and the Alliance and that is exactly why the Alliance was never cited in the court cases and that is why Khupe’s faction was never cited in the court cases. None of the two factions claimed independence from the MDC T left by Tsvangirai as the nation went into the July 2018 elections. Hence by omission or commission they both remained tied to the MDC T left by Tsvangirai.
It is misleading to make the MDC T dispute an MDC Alliance dispute. There is never a declared dispute in the MDC Alliance. It would be prudent to hasten to point out that indeed there is a potential dispute in the MDC Alliance. Given that Welshman Ncube dissolved his party it automatically means he has ceased to be a principal in the MDC Alliance. Resultantly the MDC Alliance is now practically left with 6 parties namely Tsvangirai’s MDC-T, Transform Zimbabwe, Zanu Ndonga, Multiracial Christian Democrats, People’s Democratic Party, Zimbabwe People First. This is the factual reality of the existential circumstances of the MDC Alliance currently.
The electoral performance of both Khupe and Chamisa is inconsequential in the matter in dispute. Magaisa’s continual bringing up of this is deliberately designed to overshadow the underlying facts in the MDC T saga. It is common cause that had the electoral performance of the two factions been reverse the court ruling would have remained the same. Whatever, Khupe and Chamisa amassed in the election belong to the MDC T left by Tsvangirai and its Alliance partners.
Khupe’s dalliance with the Political Actors Dialogue platform has no bearing on the MDC T leadership dispute. It must not be used to overshadow the internal constitutional abrogation and mutilations orchestrated by Nelson Chamisa and team in the MDC T left by Tsvangirai. It would be a calamitous disservice to both MDC T members and the nation at large, especially given that the MDC T prides itself as a social democratic entity whose operational tenets are hinged on constitutionalism.
That the MDC Alliance is a thorn in the side of the Zanu PF party is not in dispute. The MDC Alliance is the hub of Zanu PF’s opposition. It is wrong to say Khupe’s political fortunes were resuscitated by political direction from Zanu PF. The fact remains that whatever perceived fortunes that came Khupe’s way are courtesy of the provisions of the MDC operational manual better known as the constitution. It is possible Zanu PF could have reaped political dividends from the outcome of the court cases but it should not be blamed.
I disagree respectfully with Magaisa that Khupe has been firing MDC Alliance MPs and Councillors. That is not true. The truth is those fired are from the MDC T left by Tsvangirai. Not from Ncube’s group or Biti’s PDP, which are the only other members in the MDC Alliance with parliamentary and council representation. Those who are said to be victims are actually the perpetrators of the action taken against them. They declared themselves as not members of the MDC T left by Tsvangirai. As such they had no business to occupy the space contracted to the MDC T left by Tsvangirai. What is happening in the MDC T left by Tsvangirai should and must not be blamed on Zanu PF. The blame must come squarely upon those leaders in the MDC T who chose not to follow their own constitution.
In any case Zanu PF has two thirds majority in parliament and the presence of the current opposition parliamentary contingence is neither here nor there in terms of legislative power. Furthermore, if those MPs and Councillors won votes on the strength of their individual capacity as opposed to their organisational affiliation then there should be no issue as they will definitely come back after by election. However, it is unfair and unethical to force a political party to continue to accommodate a member who is not a member. What Magaisa inadvertently reveals here is the fact that these MPs and councillors won as a result of their political party affiliation. Especially, their proximity to the MDC T left by Tsvangirai. All those who won under the MDC Alliance banner were previously members of the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai.
It is not the Supreme Court that rearranged Zimbabwe’s political map as Magaisa claims. It is the MDC constitution that rearranged the political map. Any negative impact of that rearrangement should and must be attributed to Chamisa’s unorthodox usurpation of power in the MDC T left by Tsvangirai on his death on 14 February 2018. Had he not done what he did then, we are likely to have an un affected post-election political map in Zimbabwe. It is even possible that the MDC Alliance could have fared way better than it did in the July 2018 elections.
The drama, as Magaisa calls it, that has characterised the post Supreme Court ruling does not emanate from Khupe and company. It emanates from Chamisa and company. First they refuse to respect the ruling of the court and secondly they openly dissociate themselves from the MDC T left by Tsvangirai.
In blatant condescension Magaisa has elected to think and feel for the voters. Without any research he claims that voters are perplexed That the people do not understand why they are not consulted over the recalls. He even goes on to claim the people view the recalls as punishment. He doesn’t tell us who exactly sees it that way and how many they are. He makes his own opinion as public opinion. He effectively turns himself into the so called court of public opinion.
As already aforementioned the MDC Alliance remains intact as per its agreement signed in August 2017. Magaisa talks about absurdities in filling the proportional representation seats in the National Assembly and senate, which seats were held by members of the MDC Alliance. The absurdity actually resides in Magaisa’s flawed assumptions on the nature of the MDC Alliance. The MDC Alliance and the so called ‘MDC Alliance Party,’ if ever it exists, would be two completely different entities. The MDC Alliance which contested the 2018 elections has the MDC T as left by Tsvangirai as the major partner. The MDC Alliance Party does not have the MDC T as left by Tsvangirai. The MDC Alliance party was formed after the 2018 elections which actually means it’s a breakaway party from the MDC Alliance. It would be made up of Ncube’s MDC members, Biti’s PDP members and those who broke away from the MDC T left by Tsvangirai. While running away from this reality Magaisa focuses on vilifying the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). It seems this is designed to justify any future electoral failures by his chosen group. For the avoidance of doubt the MDC Alliance will definitely fill those seats with their nominees as per the Alliance’s Composite Political Cooperation agreement as signed by the principals of the seven political parties who included the late Morgan Tsvangirai in August 2017. This conforms with democratic sense and it is the correct process which should be followed.
The only group that can claim the MDC Alliance electoral banner is the group that includes the MDC T left by Tsvangirai whose Headquarters are 44 Nelson Mandela Avenue in Harare. This MDC T is the one whose leadership was legally confirmed by the Supreme Court in terms of the MDC constitution.
Whether, it favours the ruling party or not the truth is that any MDC Alliance led by Chamisa divorced from the MDC T left by Tsvangirai can not claim the MDC Alliance whose birth bears the signature of Morgan Tsvangirai.
Actually Chamisa cannot have his cake and eat it. He cannot choose to disown the MDC T left by Tsvangirai and claim the MDC Alliance name that came into existence with the MDC T as an integral part. It is evident that Chamisa and his team made a decision to dissociate themselves from Tsvangirai and his MDC T. We hear they pulled down all portraits of Tsvangirai from the MDC T headquarters which ironically is named after Tsvangirai. They claim to have turned the same into their MDC Alliance party headquarters.
I agree with Magaisa that since Chamisa has chosen to dissociate from the MDC T left by Tsvangirai he should dissociate from anything that involves that party. This means he should let go the MDC Alliance name and have his own. If he is a brand and has followers as Magaisa claims then it should not be a problem to establish himself. His so called people will follow him. However, the truth of the matter is without the MDC T left by Tsvangirai and its Alliance there is no life for Chamisa in the political arena. Magaisa’s advice is sound. Chamisa must relinquish MDC Alliance name. He will never win the battle for the MDC name.