THE three vice presidents of the MDC-T is a comical story, a classic example as well as reminder of how leaders can easily violate their own constitutions and hope to get away with it. Granted, Morgan Tsvangirai is going through a very difficult time in his life for which he needs our prayers. However, his is not mental illness so there is no excuse for him to disregard constitutional dispensation despite what he is going through.
I have a copy of the MDC-T constitution as revised at Congress on 1st November 2014. There is nowhere, I repeat – nowhere, where it says Tsvangirai or the president has the right to appoint a deputy president, let alone deputy presidents. I am proudly from Masvingo, Zaka to be precise, only 4 miles away from the village Elias Mudzuri hails from, one of the new vice presidents. I respect him.
Nelson Chamisa is from Gutu — again, he is my homeboy. One who is well respected too. Undoubtedly, he is an asset to the MDC and to the democratic struggle in general. Naturally, I would be pleased if not excited to see my homeboys being honoured with top positions. I would probably need an interpreter to have a decent conversation with Thokozani Khupe but that does not mean she is foreign to me. If anything, we are all proud Zimbabweans. I respect her.
If a nation hopes to prosper and earn respect among the international community of nations, the first thing that should happen is to show respect for humanity especially the less fortunate. Next, it is to demonstrate that it is a nation that respects the rule of law. Constitutionalism and rule of law are inseparable twins.
Since the story of the three vice presidents broke, I have been worrying about what kind of leadership Zimbabwe would have if someone like Morgan Tsvangirai was to be the President. Clearly, a leader who cannot respect the constitution of his party is one who cannot be trusted to govern according to the Constitution of the nation.
In 2005 when the MDC split, I was one of those Zimbabweans based in the Diaspora who did everything possible to try and bring the warring parties together. I remember having an interview on a community radio station in New Zealand with Paul Themba Nyathi who represented Welshman Ncube’s faction and Tandai Biti who was fiercely on Tsvangirai’s side.
Both gentlemen thought I was crazy when I tried hard to mediate. I literally begged them to find each other but in vain. However, if the truth be told, the split was caused by Tsvangirai’s failure to follow constitutional order. He clearly lost the senate vote and abused his powers to overturn it.
There are times when Zimbabweans do not look at facts closely, preferring to be dictated to by their emotions and in some cases by tribal affiliations. In 2005, there were many victims of this and the winner was Morgan Tsvangirai. We stood by him despite his shortcomings, but were we right to do so?
Fast track to 2016 and he is at it again. As I have said, I have nothing against Nelson Chamisa or Elias Mudzuri. Rather, I have everything against a leader who violates his party constitution willy-nilly and hopes that nobody will raise a finger.
Article 6 of the MDC constitution deals with Organs of the Party. Specifically, section 188.8.131.52 states:
The National Standing Committee shall compose of the following office bearers elected by Congress;
- The President
- The Deputy President
The section goes on to list positions up to (k) that are all to be elected by Congress. The natural question is “When was a congress held to elect Mudzuri and Chamisa?” Unlike some interesting woman who just got up one day to discover she had been awarded a supersonic PhD, Nelson Chamisa is a graduate in Law. He is well qualified to correctly interpret section 184.108.40.206 of his party’s constitution. How can he possibly accept his unconstitutional appointment?
Charity begins at home. If Tsvangirai cannot interpret the MDC constitution that is short and simple, I do not know how he will be able to understand the national constitution.
Title: MDC-T VPs: Tsvangirai violated party rules
Author: Moses Chamboko
Source: New Zimbabwe