MDC T Secretary General Senator Douglas Mwonzora has cited differences in ideology as the source of tension between his party and Nelson Chamisa led MDC Alliance. Speaking at the belated 21st Anniversary of the MDC T at Morgan R Tsvangirai House in Harare last Saturday, Sen Mwonzora said those who have remained with his party are mainly pro poor trade unionists whilst Chamisa backers and structures are mainly former and current student activists, resulting in what he termed Ideological Rupture.
Below is Sen Mwonzora speech, titled “We are on the Rise”, in full:
Ladies and Gentlemen
On the 11th of September, 1999 our great Movement was born out of the Labour Movement, the Constitution Movement and the Student Movement. Its stated historic duty was to complete the unfinished business of the Liberation struggle and redress the plight of the long suffering Zimbabwean masses. Being a social democratic party it was predicated on the timeless and indelible values of freedom, justice, equality, solidarity, constitutionalism and the respect of the rule of law. We are therefore decidedly pro-poor, pro-labour, pro-gender equality, pro-rural development, pro-marginalised groups and pro-egalitarianism and pro-democracy. We state it for the sake of completeness that sexism, tribalism, regionalism, hate and violence have no place in our great movement.
On the 31st of Mach, 2020, the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe delivered a landmark decision that dealt with the vexing leadership question and the succession conundrum within the MDC. It found that the Party had a constitution which provided in clear terms that in the event of the death of a president the party should hold an extraordinary congress for the election of the substantive president of the Party to replace the departed president. It also ordered the reinstatement of the leadership elected at the 2014 congress. Resultantly in accordance with its constitution the Party was ordered to hold its Extraordinary Congress. We have accordingly started our preparations for this congress.
The straightforward ruling of the Supreme Court was well received by all right thinking members of the party and society as simply logical. It was however derided by those who wanted to sacrifice constitutionalism and principle on the altar of convenience and populism. This led to the ideological rupture of the opposition. Former trade unionists schooled in the social democratic ideology went on one side while the anarchical and ideology-less elements went on the other. They are being nose-led by the G40 elements of Zanu PF. These are the former kingpins of Robert Mugabe’s dictatorial regime responsible for all the obnoxious laws that oppressed our people. Their crimes against humanity are a matter of historic record. They unleashed their propaganda machinery against the genuine leaders of our party. This propaganda all manifest of the social media has consigned Zimbabwean politics to a new low in terms of toxicity, lies and deception.
The aftermath of the judgement saw a spirited contest in a number of areas. The first contest was on who controlled the party members of Parliament and the local Authorities. The battle was fought on many front and we have decidedly and unquestionably won it.
The second contest related to the occupation and possession of the Part Headquarters, the Morgan Tsvangirai House. Through the skill and determination of our young men and women we took control of our property. A lot of propaganda was spewed to the effect that we had been aided by the police and the military in the historic takeover. This was clearly false. The anarchist G40 fronting outfit took us to court and we defeated them decisively. Our complete possession and occupation of the Party headquarters is now sealed and irreversible. We are in the process of taking possession of all our party properties countrywide and this is just a matter of time.
We have also won the battle for the Political Parties Fund. The right to this Fund was won as far back as 1997 in the Supreme Court two years before the formal launch of our party. The claim by the G40 fronting outfit to this money is an attempt at basic theft and subterfuge.
We are happy to inform the nation that we are going to be lawfully participating in the programs of the African Union as the official opposition in the country. Our first engagement at the African Union is in a workshop organised by the continental body on the 29th of September 2020. Our party will be represented through the Secretary General.
Due to the spike in the Covid 19 cases we were unable to hold our congress on the 31st of July 2020 as planned. Both the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Home Affairs advised us in writing that we could not hold our congress due to the pandemic. We therefore approached the Supreme Court for a formal extension of time. The matter will be decided on the 1st of October 2020. However, we are proceeding with our preparations for congress. The Organising Department has completed that finalisation of the database of all the congress delegates. We are happy that our congress will be fully subscribed. On Wednesday next week our Secretary for Elections Mr Gandhi Mudzingwa will be tabling before the National Standing Committee concrete proposals relating to the appointment of the Independent Electoral Commission to run the congress elections, the dates and procedures for nomination of candidates as well as timelines to the actual congress itself. We appeal for discipline of party members as we move towards our congress.
Our party has had to recall a number of members of parliament and councillors throughout the country. This has generated a huge outcry from the G40 fronting outfit. We wish to state that this is not the first time that this party has had to recall its elected members. In 2012, the party recalled all the 21 councillors in Chitungwiza who had been implicated in serious corruption involving council land. This was part of Morgan Tsvangirai and the leadership’s zero tolerance to corruption. After the rebellion by Tendai Biti and his group Morgan Tsvangirai and the leadership of the Party recalled 21 Members of Parliament because they had ceased to belong to our party. In May 2018, Nelson Chamisa recalled Dr Khupe from Parliament. On the 7th of April, Chamisa tried to recall, Senators Komichi, Mudzuri and Mwonzora from the Senate. He was unsuccessful.
Contrary to the propaganda by the G40 outfit our recalls have not been an act of spite on the part of the leadership. In all of them we have acted on the written recommendations from the provinces and district executive committees of the party. The recalls have been on the basis that;
- That the MPs and Councillors in question have through written affidavits renounced their membership of the Party. These affidavits were drafted by the leadership of the G40 fronting outfit.
- The MPs and Councillors have by word and deed ceased to belong to our party.
- Some councillors have been implicated in serious cases of corruption. We have done our own investigations in this regard.
- Some councillors led to massive unemployment when they fired council employees from their wards on the basis that they did not support their candidature.
We are happy to advise that we have been engaging with both African and non-African diplomats in the country. So far we have engaged diplomats from United States of America, Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Botswana, Malawi and South Africa briefing them on what is happening in the Party and the country. We are glad to say that our engagements have been very fruitful.
Ladies and gentleman the People’s Party is slowly on the rise. It is a question of time. Victory is Certain