The press release on Saturday 10 October 2020, by one Paul Gorekore, the suspended MDC T Harare province youth chair, in responding to his suspension by the party’s Acting president Thokozani Khupe, is very interesting and raises a number of issues in the current MDC T saga.
Gorekore purports that no employee or official of the party has been barred from entering MRT House. He cites this as the main reason for his being suspended. However a closer look at the published suspension letter reveals that the reason he has mentioned is one of five reasons and actually it is the last one. Not even the first, second or third. He sounds a bit economic with the truth.
He says it is unlawful and unconstitutional to suspend a member for calling for unity within the party and amongst its leaders Gorekore declares. Its not clear which constitution he is talking about and which law he is talking about. Further scrutiny of the suspension letter reveals that this actually is not one of the reason for his purported suspension. Yes calling for unity may not be an offence as enshrined in the MDC constitution and it is rightly not an offense he is accused of having committed. Good point raised but irrelevant.
Gorekore further mentions that he is being suspended because of his constitutional right to support a candidate of his choice ahead of the MDC Extra Ordinary Congress. This reveals a further confession on his part. This simply reveals he is doing what he is doing on behalf of a particular preferred candidate at the MDC EOC. The question is who is the candidate behind this hostile take over of the party headquarters.
While it is Gorekore’s view it can only be proven through evidence gathered in an investigation and the Acting President of the party has actually allowed due process to take place. She is right that Gorekore has failed to air his grievances through the right channels as enshrined in the very constitution of the party he purports to want to uphold. Mr Gorekore can not have his cake and eat it. While he purports to uphold the MDC constitution he must also subject himself to the same constitution. He is not above the constitution of the party.
In terms of Section 9.20.2 of the MDC constitution it looks Mr Gorekore is in serious trouble. It is clear that no member of staff shall be allowed to hold any party position in any party structure. So as of now Gorekore has two options, Either to immediately resign his post as Harare Youth Chair and be an employee or he has to forego his so called contract and be part of the structures. Either way terms and conditions of the MDC constitution apply. Checkmate Paul. You shouldn’t have brought this up mate.
Gorekore further implicates himself through confessing that he is Harare Youth Chair and an employee of the party. As an employee of the party he has no right and power whatsoever to take charge of the party offices without orders from his superiors one of them being the Secretary General. If he indeed is an employee of the party he abused his status to achieve a political end to which as an employee he has no business to be involved in.
What Gorekore says in relation to the need for the MDC party leaders to unite is very noble and ideal. However, unity can only be in terms of the MDC constitution. Genuine MDC T 2014 congress delegates are those who subscribe to the Supreme court judgment and those who don’t belong to any other political party other than the MDC T left by Morgan Tsvangirai. It looks like those Gorekore is fronting were genuine 2014 congress delegates who have since moved on to belong to another political party or parties other than the MDC for which they were delegates in 2014. Since the Supreme Court Judgment of 31st March 2020 they have been openly declaring and taking part in the affairs of another political party contrary to the MDC constitution.
They have sat as members of another political party in its National, provincial, district and ward executives and councils. Now asking or demanding that these people be accommodated in the affairs of a party they have since moved away from is ultra vires the MDC constitution and the laws of natural justice. The supreme court judgment binds these individuals only in as far as they subscribe to the MDC constitution. Everything that has to be done in this regard has to be done in terms of the MDC constitution. It is the MDC constitution that decides who comes and who doesn’t come to the MDC Extraordinary Congress.
Further, Gorekore mandates the party’s National Organiser to publish the so called genuine delegates for purposes of verification. However, in terms of the MDC constitution the custodian of all party records is the Secretary General 9.5.1 (d)&(e). Therefore it is never the role of the MDC National Organiser to do so. The role of the National Organiser is to collate, gather and collect all lists of party members.
Since this phase was done in 2014 it means the Secretary General has the list in his or her custody in terms of the MDC constitution. It is therefore the office of the Secretary General of the party that should provide the authentic list of delegates because it is the office that has records of all members who have left and have remained in the party.
It seems Gorekore doesn’t understand the meaning of the word genuine he continuously uses. It means those who are still members of the MDC left by Morgan Tsvangirai in terms of the MDC constitution. This is minus those who have joined other parties other than the MDC T.
The quorum of the National Executive is not rigid but subject to the available number of members. The constitution of the MDC does not expressly say the quorum is tied to the constitutional figures of members of the executive. It is a convenient interpretation that borders on propaganda. Otherwise if that is what it meant it would have been made clear that if a quorum is not reached then the National Executive stands dissolved.
The quorum here is relative to the physically existing non vacant positions in the National Executive. That is the law of corporate governance. Vacancies in the National Executive do not stop business being enacted. It is that simple. It is also ironic that Gorekore accuses others of making decisions on behalf of the National Executive yet at the end of his statement he purports to be representing the Harare Province Youth Assembly without having made the resolution as an assembly. Is he a quorum?
Gorekore should be advised that this stage has nothing to do with legal representation. Its simply internal administrative party processes and one cannot abuse legal processes to hinder administrative justice. There is no any other response he can give beyond what he has done. The law can not and will not interfere in this straight forward internal matter. Moreso a matter where the internal party processes as outlined in the party’s binding internal operational document are being followed.
The court process instituted by Douglas Mwonzora and appealed against by Gorekore has nothing to do with the Khupe internal matter. There is no law that stops Khupe from acting the way she did as it is within the confines of the MDC constitution and does not in anyway interfere with the matter before the courts. If anything the outcome of the Gorekore appeal, if ever in his favour, is actually overtaken by events. Any order in his favour will be MOOT . It will be BRUTUM FULMEN . The locus standi he purported to have is no longer valid. He is not the Harare Youth Chair as he is on suspension and the suspension is clear on his obligations. Non of his rights is infringed. Any order from the appeal will not bar Khupe from suspending Gorekore.
Khupe has power in terms of the MDC constitution to do what she did. By saying we remain in charge of MRT House when in the beginning of his presser he was saying I shows that there are other forces involved in the MRT House saga than meets the eye
Gorekore’s last statement that, “Any attempt to forcibly take over MRT House will be resisted and stopped,”reveals an individual whose motive has nothing to do with the well being of the party. He is actually threatening violence and disrespect for the party rules and regulations.
Furthermore, by issuing pressers he continues to defy the party constitution which does not allow him to do so hence justifying Khupe’s move that corrective action should be taken to protect the constitution and image of the party.
If anything the Gorekore press statement is a betrayal of the panic his handlers have been gripped with. They probably never expected this move to arise. Its game over!