BATTLELINES have been drawn in the opposition camp after MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa Thursday expelled three top party executives for dining with his rival Thokozani Khupe and withdrew his remaining 83 MPs from attending Parliament business until further notice following the recall of his three MPs by the rival camp on Wednesday.
Addressing journalists at the Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House (formerly Harvest House), MDC Alliance national deputy chairman Job Sikhala said the party’s standing committee met on Wednesday and resolved to briefly withdraw party MPs from Parliament, while a final decision would be announced after consultation with all structures.
“The MDC Alliance has noted that Morgen Komichi, Douglas Mwonzora and Elias Mudzuri have decided to co-operate with Zanu PF and the State,” Sikhala said.
“They, therefore, have expelled themselves from the MDC Alliance and they are forthwith relieved of their positions and membership in the party.”
Sikhala added: “They are further withdrawn from positions in which they had been deployed within the party.
Replacements have been made and will be announced in due course.”
He was reacting to the recall of four MPs from Parliament by Mwonzora, who claimed to have used his powers as MDC secretary-general after the Supreme Court ruling that ordered the party to revert to the structures that existed before its 2014 congress.
The recalled MDC Alliance MPs are Chalton Hwende (Kuwadzana East), chief whip Prosper Mutseyami (Chikanga-Dangamvura), Midlands senator Lillian Timveous and Tabitha Khumalo (PR legislator for Bulawayo).
Soon after Sikhala’s address, most MDC Alliance legislators exited from parliamentary portfolio committee WhatsApp groups to cut ties with their Zanu PF counterparts while awaiting a signal from Chamisa on the way forward.
“They are disengaging from anything to do with Zanu PF and Parliament. The issue of whether there will be a pull-out or not will come out of the consultative process that we are going to have.”
Sikhala claimed Zanu PF and President Emmerson Mnangagwa engineered the recall of MDC Alliance MPs from Parliament to weaken the opposition party. But Zanu PF has denied the charge.
Zanu PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu said the ruling party had no hand in the MDC fights.
Sikhala added that they were being penalised for refusing to recognise Mnangagwa’s presidency and snubbing his Political Actors Dialogue platform to resolve the country’s political and economic crises.
“We are victims of abuse by an illegitimate system, not only us but the people of Zimbabwe have been the subject of abuse by Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government since the commission of the military coup on the 17th of November 2017.
He said in Parliament, the MDC Alliance had been treated as an illegitimate opposition party by the Mnangagwa administration and the ruling party had crossed the rubicon by conniving with the Khupe outfit to recall MDC Alliance MPs.
“Those who will not want to move out of Parliament are entitled to do that, but our call is for the cause of the people of Zimbabwe, not individual interests of the people in the MDC Alliance.”
He also said those who wanted to attend to “Khupe’s Zanu PF-sponsored extraordinary congress are free to do so”.