Elias Mudzuri, a former MDC vice president, and six other party members who were suspended lately over a number of alleged offences have argued that their removal was unlawful, raising more doubts about Douglas Mwonzora‘s authority as the party’s leader.
The opposition suspended Mudzuri, Norest Marara, Gift Konjana, John Nyika, Den Moyo, Edwin Dzambara, and Edwin Kakora on Monday for allegedly breaking party rules, having illegal meetings, and undermining the democratic procedures of the organisation.
The seven argued in an internal memo submitted to the party’s national chairperson Solomon Chikohwero that the Mwonzora camp’s suspension of them was unlawful. They also vowed to continue carrying out their party obligations.
They cited sections of the MDC constitution that state that the president and national chairperson are elected in a congress, therefore, since there was no congress, the party’s presidency, national chairperson, and standing committee positions were all vacant. Read the memo seen by ZimLive:
As per 126.96.36.199 of the MDC Constitution, The President and National Chairman of the party together with the rest of the Standing Committee office bearers shall be elected at Congress.
Since no congress has been held according to the tenets of the party constitution, the offices stipulated in 188.8.131.52 are deemed to remain vacant.
Any individual seeking to usurp powers vested in 184.108.40.206 is acting ultra-vires the party constitution and any actions, announcements, or representations from such individuals are null and void.
The seven officials, according to MDC spokesperson Witness Dube, were accused of leaking the information to the media in an effort to get unwarranted attention.
Dube claimed that the suspended officials were merely seeking public sympathy because they even considered writing to Chikohwero, who they claim was improperly using his position as party chair. Dube said:
We will not be drawn to argue on our constitution in the media because this is what these attention seekers will derive satisfaction from.
The fact that they recognise a chairperson they consider to have been elected illegally shows that they are only playing to the gallery, and may be afraid of appearing before the disciplinary hearing.
The party will comment after their case has been properly considered in accordance with our constitutional provisions.
Insiders claim that the seven suspended party leaders were unofficially dismissed for criticising Mwonzora’s leadership, and the opposition used the impending disciplinary process as a public relations gimmick.
According to reports, the suspended leaders are currently developing a plan to contest their expulsion and Mwonzora’s authority.
They attribute the party’s unpopularity and dismal performance in last year’s by-elections to Mwonzora’s strategies.