ZIM Morning Post news editor Nicholas Gochai (ZMP) on Monday (April 13) had a no-holds-barred interview with MDC Alliance’s Hon. Charlton Hwende. Today (April 16), ZMP caught up with Hon. Morgen Komichi (MK) to seek clarification on issues around the recent Supreme Court judgment and other MDC party matters which this publication thought needed further clarification.
Below are excerpts of that interview.
ZMP: What does the recent Supreme Court ruling mean for democracy and opposition politics in Zimbabwe?
MK: Needless to say, the judgment resuscitated the faltering democratic space that had began to shrink in Zimbabwe’s body politic.
At its formation in 1999, MDC was anchored on key fundamental values of democracy, respect for the rule of law, constitutionalism, freedom, justice, servant leadership, among others.
But the past two years counting from president Morgan Tsvangirai’s death, democracy has been dealt a death knell.
ZMP: The Supreme Court specifically mandated you and Hon. Khupe to put in place mechanisms for the holding of an MDC congress based on the 2014 structures within three months. How far have you gone in that regard?
MK: True, the judgment by the Court mandated us to prepare for the holding of an MDC congress based on the 2014 register of our structures. COVID-19 has, however, slowed down progress in that direction.
Having said that, I want to assure the nation that we will leave no stone unturned towards meeting the Court’s deadline.
ZMP: According to some media reports, you are moving around bribing some who were in the 2014 structures but are now with MDC Alliance so that they rejoin your faction.
MK: There is no iota of truth in those allegations. It’s actually the other side who are threatening legislators into signing affidavits declaring allegiance to MDC Alliance.
But the majority of the legislators have expressed regret at that.
ZMP: What are the implications – if any – of asking legislators to sign such affidavits in view of the ruling by the Supreme Court?
MK: This action is illegal and does not board well with freedom of association. It also exposes dictatorial traits in the MDC Alliance.
I, however, want to assure the concerned legislators to remain calm,
as they have the full protection of the law.
ZMP: But who has the legitimate charge over MDC Alliance legislators?
MK: The MDC Alliance agreement is nothing but an electoral pact.
MDC remains the legitimate party which exercises control over all its legislators in Parliament.
ZMP: In a recent interview with Zim Morning Post, Hon. Hwende talked about two MDC Alliance agreements.
MK: There is only one MDC Alliance agreement. I was actively involved in the processes that gave birth to the current MDC Alliance agreement.
If ever there is another document, it’s a fake one.
Remember, the key principal to the MDC Alliance agreement was the late president, Morgan Tsvangirai.
ZMP: Hon. Hwende also told us that the initial agreement, prior to the death of Tsvangirai collapsed, saying the current MDC Alliance agreement was new, with its own constitution.
MK: This is a document faked to dodge the full implementation the Supreme Court judgment.
ZMP: Hon. Komichi, can you comment on reports by certain sections of the media that you and Hon. Mwonzora are under immense pressure to surrender your leadership positions in the MDC party, allegedly for remaining in the MDC Alliance despite reports Hon. Chamisa had taken over illegally as acting president following Tsvangirai’s death.
MK: We are the legitimate leadership of MDC as ordered by the recent Supreme Court judgment. Madam Khupe and Nelson Chamisa’s congresses were nullified by the Supreme Court.
We are not under any significant pressure. It’s not true.
ZMP: The Khupe-MDC-T party that broke away from the MDC Alliance; is it the same party the Supreme Court ordered to hold a congress within three months?
MK: The MDC main party never left the MDC Alliance elections pact.
After nullification of the appointments of Chamisa and Mudzuri as vice presidents, all actions – commissions and omissions done – were nullified by both the High Court and Supreme Court.
After violation of the succession clause, Section 9.21.1 of MDC constitution, everything done after that was nullified by the courts, including, congresses organised by both madam Khupe and Chamisa.
ZMP: So, why are Nixon Nyikadzino and Tarisai Chikuvhangu of MDC-T Khupe reportedly bitter that Hon. Mwonzora and yourself are implementing the Supreme Court ruling?
MK: The two are just a part of the spoilers who probably feel let down by losses the suspect they may endure in the pending restructuring processes.
ZMP: Who has the right to use the Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House?
MK: The MDC constitution states clearly that the MDC HQ is at 44 Nelson Mandela Avenue, Harare.
So, in terms of the party constitution, we are the legitimate owners of that entity.
ZMP: In an interview with MDC Alliance’s Hon. Hwende, we were directed to madam Khupe and Hon. Mwonzora after we sought to know where all movable and immovable property MDC had acquired since its formation in 1999 is?
Would you like to shed more light on that?
MK: All properties acquired by MDC since 1999 are safe and secure. The inventory is there and Hwende is presently the MDC deputy treasurer general as per the Supreme Court judgment.
He was given this specific function of maintaining the inventory by the late Tsvangirai.
ZMP: So, are you going to extend invitation to all aligned to Hon. Chamisa to attend and contest all available positions at the congress due now in less than three months?
MK: Hon. Chamisa is a legitimate delegate to the extraordinary ordinary congress. He is a genuine member of the 2014 national executive committee. It would be the most honourable thing for him attend.
As a lawyer himself, it would be inconceivable for him to trash the Supreme Court judgment.