MDC officials, who were members of the party’s national council under the late Morgan Tsvangirai, are reportedly piling pressure on acting MDC-T president Thokozani Khupe to hold a national council meeting so they could use the event to scuttle her planned extraordinary congress (EOC).
Sesel Zvidzai, who was part of the national council as Tsvangirai’s chief-of-staff, said Khupe and acting secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora were avoiding the all-important national council meeting despite a legitimate and constitutional demand for such.
“A petition was made in May 2020 by the national council which was in office as at February 14, 2018 for a meeting of that party organ and it is being avoided. Those who claim to be abiding by the constitution are now denying organs of the party the rights provided to them by the constitution,” he said.
A total of 93 members of the national council signed a petition demanding that members of the Tsvangirai-led MDC standing committee present themselves before them.
“We, the undersigned individuals who were members of the MDC-T national council as at February 14, 2018, having noted the Supreme Court judgment in the matter Mashavire vs MDC-T and others and subsequent events, acting in terms of article 126.96.36.199 of the MDC-T constitution as it was on the same date, hereby petition for convening of a lawful meeting of the national council as constituted on that date,” the petition read.
The petition also demanded that all members of the then national council, including the fired Chalton Hwende, Nelson Chamisa, and those who left the party after February 14, 2018, be invited to attend the council meeting.
Mwonzora acknowledged receipt of the petition and said it was discussed in the MDC-T standing committee, adding that the party leadership was not in a hurry to hold the meeting.
“The attitude of the party leadership is that it is not in a hurry to hold the national council meeting because we held a virtual meeting of council recently and also because of the COVID-19 regulations. The leadership will hold a meeting of the council as soon as conditions permit,” he said.
Another party official Jameson Timba said: “They are afraid of the people. How do you talk of a standing committee that only has three people out of the possible 15? The rest they now have are co-opted, they are just trying to run away from the organs of the party.”
This came as insiders say members of the national council aligned to Chamisa were plotting to use the meeting to veto the holding of the EOC and put a stop to the Khupe leadership.
“Mwonzora knows this plan, so he is bidding his time so that he meets with council members and win their hearts ahead of the meeting, the delay is strategic to give them a counter,” a source said.