MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai’s decision to unilaterally appoint Advocate Nelson Chamisa and Engineer Elias Mudzuri as vice presidents continues to haunt the party, with the chairperson Mr Lovemore Moyo conceding that the national council felt that going for elections would have destabilised the opposition party ahead of the 2018 general polls.
In papers filed at the High Court responding to party activists, Messrs Partson Murimoga and George Rice, who were challenging the appointments, Mr Moyo said there were fears that subjecting the process to an election would have torn the fractious party.
“Members of the national council overwhelmingly mandated the president to choose the members as it was noted that it was not necessary to go for an election.
“National Council members were of the view that going for an election may be divisive particularly that the national elections scheduled for 2018 are now looming,” said Mr Moyo.
Messrs Murimoga and Rice approached the High Court challenging the appointment of Adv Chamisa and Eng Mudzuri arguing that Mr Tsvangirai violated the party’s constitution, which provided that such posts were elected directly from congress.
In his response, Mr Tsvangirai appeared to admit that he bungled up after he submitted that the party’s constitution allowed the national council to deal with “oversights and omissions” after he allegedly stampeded the National Council to endorse the appointments.
He argued that the two were not members of his party, but admitted that although Mr Murimoga “composed songs praising me and the party, with respect, this is not proof of membership.”
But the two’s lawyers, Mr Zivanai Macharaga and Mugiya and Macharaga Legal Practitioners, submitted that the court should nullify the appointment as Mr Tsvangirai had indeed admitted that he bungled up after he said omission could be ratified by national council.
“Mr Tsvangirai, however, does not state that he sought the National Council to ratify his omission in appointing deputy presidents of the MDC-T as he did,” said Mr Macharaga.
He said Mr Moyo — as national chairperson — had all but let the cat out of the bag by admitting that elections were not desirable given the divisive scenario that would have ensued.
“What is clear is that Mr Moyo was aware that deputy presidents of the MDC-T ought to be elected.
“He claims though that elections in the MDC-T are divisive. This is a sad painting of the MDC-T members, which applicants will not agree,” reads the affidavit.
“The fact that Mr Moyo and the National Council view members of the MDC-T as divisive during election should not have been the reason to violate the constitution of the party.
“Applicants urge this Honourable Court to simply see that an excuse has been given why the Constitution of the MDC-T was violated in appointing deputy presidents instead of having an election.
“The fact could only have meant not appointing deputy president, not to sacrifice the constitution of the MDC-T at the alter of expediency. ” herald