ZIM Morning Post (ZMP) news editor Nicholas Gochai had an exclusive interview with MDC Alliance secretary general, Charlton Hwende (CH), on Monday.
The interview with the Kuwadzana East legislator was necessitated by the need to clarify the latter’s sentiments he posted on his microblogging Twitter handle that same day.
According to the Twitter post upon Tsvangirai’s death, Khupe pulled out with her the old MDC party of Tsvangirai from the initial MDC Alliance agreement, prompting the current MDC Alliance president Nelson Chamisa and others to form their own party, complete with a new constitution and leadership structures.
However, Hwende said the tweet was from an imposter.
Below are excerpts of that interview.
ZMP: The position you articulated on your Twitter account that the current MDC Alliance is different from one initiated by the late icon and founding father of the MDC party, complete with a new agreement and constitution, is that your position as a party?
HC:That one is from an imposter.
ZMP: But Hon. Hwende, did Khupe have a quorum to enable her to hold a congress out of the rubbles – as you say – of Tsvangirai’s old party?
CH: That is the correct position. Which congress by Khupe are you referring to?
ZMP: One that she held prior to the 2018 elections.
ZMP: In any case, Hon. Hwande, the recent Supreme Court ruling declared as null and void all MDC-related party reconfigurations, particularly of structures put in place after 2014 by Chamisa.
CH: To answer your question, Khupe had no quorum at all allowing her to put in place her MDC-T party. She just picked people from the streets.
ZMP: Implying the congress was null and void. Can we say her attempt to “run away” with Tsvangirai’s MDC was a non-event?
CH: Run away, how?
ZMP: By pulling out of the old MDC party formed by Tsvangirai.
CH: [ Silence ].
ZMP: Besides, are you saying the Supreme Court erred by ruling that the 2014 MDC party structures should be adhered to?
CH: As MDC Alliance, we never said the Supreme Court erred. The judgment did not relate to our party as we were not before the courts. No one disputes that Khupe is president of MDC-T while Nelson Chamisa is the president of the MDC Alliance. Anyone who voted in the 2018 elections is also aware of this reality. They had a choice between MDC Alliance and MDC-T and Zimbabweans voted MDC Alliance and gave us 108 MPs and Senators, while Khupe and her MDC-T got two MPs.
ZMP: True, but all that was ruled null and void by the Supreme Court on the basis that Tsvangirai had failed to adhere to the party’s constitution in appointing Hon. Chamisa and Hon. Elias Mudzuri as party vice presidents.
CH: [ Silence ]
ZMP: You will agree with me that Hon. Chamisa was part of the High Court case .
CH: The Supreme Court never mentioned the MDC Alliance. Read the judgment.
ZMP: Let us talk about the ruling by the Supreme Court for the MDC party to return to the 2014 structures and then call for a congress within three months to put in place legitimate structures.
CH: Which 2014 ruling?
ZMP: Hon. Hwende, the Supreme Court recently ruled that MDC structures should revert to those that obtained in 2014 when Hon. Mudzuri and Advocate Chamisa were not vice presidents.
CH: We have since moved from that era. We now have a new political party formed in 2018; MDC Alliance. We can’t comment on affairs of a party we no longer belong to.
ZMP: But you are still at MDC headquarters and claiming ownership to it?
CH: With regards to the MDC Alliance Headquarters, we have permission to use it given us by the trustees who own the building on behalf of ordinary Zimbabweans who believe in democratic change.
ZMP: What about all the property that belonged to the Tsvangirai-owned MDC, does that now belong to the MDC Alliance, a party which, as you say, came into existence only in 2019?
CH: Like which property, for instance?
ZMP: All the moveable property like vehicles and stationary.
CH: We are using properties that are registered under MDC Alliance. The vehicles we use are for the MDC Alliance.
ZMP: Where did you get all that property from, considering you are just one or two years old as MDC Alliance?
CH: Vehicles? We bought them and some were donated by our members. Look, we got over two million votes after we formed the party a few months before the 2018 elections, so we can’t fail to buy cars.
ZMP: Where then are all the vehicles and stationary Tsvangirai’s MDC party had? Did it vanish into thin air?
CH: Ask Khupe or Mwonzora. I can only account for MDC Alliance property.
ZMP: But Khupe left the MDC HQ without even a chair. The same could be said of Mwonzora and Komichi.
CH: Do you still have any question?
ZMP: Earlier, you said the MDC Alliance was formed in 2018. Is it not fact that you held your first congress in 2019?
CH: [ Silence ].