INTERNAL strife within the main opposition MDC Alliance is escalating following allegations that its president Nelson Chamisa and his supporters violated sections of their own constitution in a bid to cling to power.
Insiders itching for an early congress, where Chamisa is likely to face a challenge for the presidency, said the recent declaration that the party will hold its congress in October is a violation of the constitution and perpetuation of dictatorship by power-hungry individuals.
“The congress of the MDC must be held in February next year. This is in line with section 9.21.1 of our constitution, anything else is a perpetuation of dictatorship and violation of the tenants of the constitution which they claim to uphold,” an official who declined identification, said.
According to the MDC constitution, following the death or resignation of the president, an election to fill the position should be held no later than 12 months.
“In the event of the death or resignation of the president, the deputy president assumes the role of acting president, pending the holding of an extraordinary congress that shall be held to elect a new president, which extraordinary congress to be held no later than a year from the death or resignation of the former president,” the MDC constitution read. Party vice-president Morgen Komichi, who is fighting from Chamisa’s corner, accused those within the party pushing for an early congress as seeking to destabilise the party.
“That view can only be propagated by CIOs (Central Intelligence Organisation operatives) and Zanu PF agents in the party, because proper members of our party respect the organs of the MDC, they respect the national executive and the national council and these made clear resolutions of what should be done. MDC members know that our congress will be held in October and will not mislead anyone,” he said.
Chamisa, who claims to have won the July 30 presidential elections is mobilising his supporters for a demonstration to oust President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Komichi said the “sideshow” was being funded to side-track Chamisa from pulling the party supporters from reclaiming victory, which they allege was stolen with the help of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
“Nobody is resisting congress, but it will be held when it’s supposed to be held, and we are not going to be dictated upon by CIOs who want to side-track us from reclaiming the people’s victory. Those who feel they can stand for presidency can still do that in October even after we reclaim the people’s victory,” Komichi said.
Chamisa’s ascendency to the top post in the opposition party has been mired in controversy after he was accused of snatching power from former deputy president Thokozani Khupe who claims she was the legitimate heir to the late Morgan Tsvangirai. She has since formed her own MDC-T party and lost in the July elections.
Party secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora is reportedly a dark horse for the post of presidency and previously beat Chamisa in the race for his current position four years ago. Vice-president Elias Mudzuri is also said to be in the mix for the presidency after he was outflanked by Chamisa when Tsvangirai died.