Harare – At a time Zimbabwe is united on containing coronavirus through implementing a 21 day national lockdown , the country’s Supreme court nullified the leadership of Zimbabwe’s main opposition party, MDC on legal grounds in a judgement delivered on Tuesday, 31 March 2020.
The move, viewed as a political attack on current MDC president Nelson Chamisa’s leadership by his internal and external political enemies threatens to further derail Zimbabwe’s economic and political environment. MDC will soon convene an extraordinary congress to elect a new leadership, the party’s national chairman Morgen Komichi said in a statement.
Below is a full press statement on this judgement.
PRESS STATEMENT 31.03.20
Today the Supreme Court, which is the highest Court of the Land except in constitutional cases, has pronounced itself on the dispute that has long been affecting our Party.This follows the challenge by one of our long standing cadres and Organizing Secretary for Gokwe District Elias Mashavira who felt that the Party constitution had not been followed in the appointment of certain leaders. He argued that at all times the Party must follow it’s own constitution. He was vindicated when Justice Mushore of the High Court ruled in his favor in March,2019. He has further been vindicated by a unanimous decision of the Supreme Court today. This case was argued fully live on television and Zimbabweans are aware of the issues at stake.
The MDC is a Party predicated on social democratic values including freedom, justice, equality, solidarity and democracy. Its founding values include following constitutionalism and the rule of law. We gain the trust of Zimbabweans if we stick to our own rules and procedures. For that reason we accept and embrace the judgement of this court and will fully comply with it. Doing otherwise will be embarking on the very lawlessness we have been known to loathe. That Mr Mashavira was not as high ranking as some leaders does not diminish the potency of his challenge nor his importance in the Party. It follows that the leadership of this great Party reverts back to those who were in leadership at all levels in 2014. All the actions of the present leadership including the holding of the Gweru Congress while well aware of the present case are nullified.
To that end we advise all our members and structures as follows:
a . All suspensions and dismissals of any party member by the current leadership between February 2018 and today are null and void. The affected members are hereby fully reinstated to their positions in the party.
b . The suspensions, dismissals and recalls of the Mayors of Chegutu, Masvingo and Victoria Falls are hereby set aside and that their Worships are reinstated thus giving effect to the true wishes of the electorate.
c . The removal of all ward executive committees and district executive committees is set aside. All the 1958 ward executive committees and all the 210 district executive committees are hereby reinstated and shall forthwith convene and do party work.
d . All members of staff whose contracts of employment were unlawfully terminated last year are hereby reinstated and must report for duty as soon as practicably possible given the circumstances.
e . All our party deployees to council and parliament are advised that they have no need to fear as there will be no reprisal or retribution from the leadership. This is on the strict understanding that they will discharge their obligations towards the party and not embark on any activities calculated to divide the Party.
f . The current leadership are kindly asked to hand over the assets of the Party to the Secretary General. All financial records should be handed over to the Treasurer General of the Party.
Our people have been worrying about the poor performance of the Party in recent by-elections. Budgeting for the usual manipulation by the electoral authorities, the margins with which the Party lost are simply an embarrassment. They do not reflect our size and experience. We will therefore immediately embark on a program calculated to reorganize the party and energize its social base. We stand for the poor and downtrodden masses. We stand for equality irrespective of race, color, place of origin, gender or creed. No one will ever be left behind.
The MDC will play its role and discharge its obligations to the SADC region, the AU and the international community as a responsible party of values. It will discharge its obligations towards the people of Zimbabwe and will be guided by its members on what is in Zimbabwe’s interests.
In terms of our constitution, we are going for an extraordinary congress for purposes of electing a substantive President. Any member of the Party is free to contest this position without fear of victimization. This Congress will be run by an Independent Commission which of necessity will include the ZCTU. The Secretary General, Senator Douglas Togaraseyi Mwonzora is hereby directed to ensure that all Congress preparations are started immediately. As the MDC is a party of the broader alliance , we will be convening a meeting of the alliance partners to update them of the current developments.
Once again we thank our party members and leaders for the discipline and restraint they have shown in this difficult period.