Sunday, 31 May 2020

MDC CONSTITUTION WAS VIOLATED : LOVEMORE MOYO


FORMER Speaker of Parliament and MDC national chairperson Lovemore Moyo was at some point a powerful figure in the main opposition party. He later threw in the towel and decided to form his own political outfit, United.

Movement for Devolution (UMD). He strongly believes he still has a role in changing the country’s political narrative. Daily News Bulawayo reporter Jeffrey Muvundusi had a chat with Moyo last week. Below are excerpts of the interview.

Q: You have been uncharacteristically silent lately despite the economic and political situation bedevilling the country?
 A: Partially correct. Remember, after my resignation from the MDC in 2018 and my subsequent pronouncement that I was not contesting for any public office in 2018 elections, I decided to take a political sabbatical to introspect on a number of political decisions and actions.

However, I am delighted to announce my return to active politics. Hopefully, my re-entry into politics will significantly contribute to the struggle for democratisation, devolution, development, equality and justice.

Q: Having walked out of the MDC and formed your own political outfit, how has been your political life?
 A: My political life has been less hectic, but moderately exciting, especially given the fact that I was now watching the political game from the terraces. However, the formation of UMD has redefined my purpose in politics and I feel re-energised politically.

Currently, I am heavily involved in the political reconstruction agenda of the nation in line with Chapter 14 of the country’s Constitution which seeks to establish devolution of power. The future of our political movement is bright and exciting.

Q: Lately, we have witnessed brawling between the Thokozani Khupe and Nelson Chamisa factions over the control of the MDC, what’s your analysis?
 A: From where I stand, given the fact that I have been involved in the MDC since its formation and the full knowledge I have of the internal political dynamics, I can safely conclude that the current political squabbles are purely linked to power struggles for the control of the MDC.

The unconstitutional appointment of the two additional vice presidents (Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri) by the late president (Morgan) Tsvangirai and the subsequent unconstitutional takeover of the party leadership by Chamisa created divisions and political disagreements in the MDC.

In a nutshell, the genesis of the current factionalism and fights can be traced to the blatant violation of the party constitution and internal power struggles.

Q: Who between the two warring factions deserves the stick and why?
 A: The bonafide members and supporters of the MDC are the legitimate judges as to who should be elected to lead their party. I think it will be inappropriate for any individual to judge and prescribe who between the two warring factions is suitable to take control of the MDC. As I alluded to earlier, it’s the constitutional right of MDC structures to elect its leadership and not outsiders.

Q: Some believe Zanu PF had a hand in the fight between the two, your take?
 A: When one takes a closer look at the history of the factional fights, certainly the Zanu PF regime’s foot prints and political machinations are visible. As things stand, both parties are politically compromised and have either directly or indirectly allowed Zanu PF to control the political destiny of the MDC through courts and other covert means. 

Q: Having been a vital cog of the MDC before your resignation, haven’t you been persuaded to go back following the recent Supreme Court ruling or do you have any intentions of going back?
 A: It is public knowledge that I officially resigned from the MDC in 2018 citing irreconcilable differences for my ultimate divorce. However, it would appear that the Supreme Court judgment nullified all political decisions and activities after the death of president Tsvangirai and asked the MDC to revert back to 2014 structures.

Incidentally, that Supreme Court judgment legally speaking nullified my resignation as I submitted my letter to an illegitimate party structure, which was eventually declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court judgment. Ordinarily, when you speak of the national chairperson of the MDC in 2014, it was myself, deputised by Morgen Komichi. That is an inescapable fact. However, I opted not to go back to reclaim my chairmanship on a matter of principle and conscience, simple because the things that I cited in my resignation letter are still very much alive in the MDC.

Remember, I cited the violation of the party constitution, disregard of the rule of law, violence, tribalism and uncharacteristic violation of founding principles and values. My borne of contention is that this is not the real MDC

I used to know and support whole heartedly. It has drastically changed in form and character which made it the only credible opposition force against Zanu PF. As things stand right now, the party is internally focused, and pursuing the politics of personalities than building the party.

Q: In light of the squabbles, what’s your advice to Chamisa and Khupe?
 A: Always put the interests of the people first ahead of your selfish and egocentric beliefs that disregard the people’s wishes.

Q: As UMD what do you want to do right, which the MDC and other opposition parties have failed in the past two decades?
 A: As UMD, our political principal agenda is ideologically anchored on devolution as a preferred system of governance. We advocate for a devolved governance system that seeks to establish autonomous provincial and local governments as the centre for political and economic activities.

The UMD will focus more on systems of governance, institutional reforms and less on personalities. Clarity of ideology and policy remains central to our strategic agenda than merely advocating for change politics without substance.

Q: What’s your take on President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s leadership?
 A: It’s extremely difficult to remain optimistic that Zanu PF government has the capacity to turn around the economy when they actually presided over the destruction of our once vibrant economy. Remember, this is a man made and self-inflicted economic crisis. The Zanu PF government’s bad policy choices and inability to deal effectively with corruption, patronage and nepotism have destroyed any hope for economic recovery.

Over the years, the Zanu PF successive governments always got their priorities wrong, preferring to put politics first, ahead of the people and the economy. The nation now places its hope for economic recovery and growth on the envisaged change of government and introduction of progressive economic policies.

Q: Is there any hope for Zimbabwe in light of the economic crisis we are facing and what do you think Zanu PF has all got it wrong?
 A: Frankly speaking, Mnangagwa has not made any noticeable impact since his ascendancy to power two-and-a-half years ago. People’s lives have not changed for better, instead more people have drifted into poverty and many people are out of employment.

Despite his tough talk about eradicating corruption, numerous empty promises ranging from economic revival and reforms, nothing to date has materialised. In many instances, President Mnangagwa has been found wanting, being unable to provide leadership. Daily News

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