MORGEN Komichi, who was the MDC Alliance’s chief elections agent and was arrested for publicly challenging the 2018 presidential elections, has made a U-turn and endorsed President Emmerson Mnangagwa as the country’s legitimate leader.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA/NQOBANI NDLOVU
Komichi is now backing acting MDC-T leader Thokozani Khupe after the Supreme Court ruling ordered her to convene an extra-ordinary congress within three months.
The Supreme Court ruling which ruled that Nelson Chamisa was unconstitutionally elevated to party deputy president by the late MDC founder, Morgan Tsvangirai, in 2016, also ordered the party to go back to its 2014 structures, paving the way for Khupe.
Khupe quit the party in a huff after losing the leadership battle to Chamisa in 2018 and formed her own faction of MDC-T, which she ran under in the 2018 presidential elections. After the Supreme Court ruling Komichi and Douglas Mwonzora immediately dumped Chamisa and joined Khupe.
Mwonzora fired the first shots last week when he recalled four MDC Alliance MPs as Khupe moved to take full control of the opposition party.
Komichi and Mwonzora, both senators, were part of the MDC Alliance that refused to recognise Mnangagwa’s electoral victory and on several occasions walked out on him in Parliament in protest over what they said was a stolen election.
But after crossing the floor, Komichi, who played a huge role over the “illegal” ascendency of Chamisa to succeed Tsvangirai, said he now recognised Mnangagwa as a legitimate leader.
“We received advice from a lot of people and organisations telling us that the card of Mnangagwa’s illegitimacy was no longer viable,” Komichi said.
“The matter of Mnangagwa’s legitimacy was decided by the Constitutional Court and we accept that ruling. We should respect court processes as a democratic and constitutional party.”
He added: “Democracy is a game of numbers, but now that I have pronounced myself, when he (Mnangagwa) walks in (Parliament), I will stand up for him and respect him. We have to respect decisions that were made by professionals.”
Komichi, who was also Chamisa’s chief election agent, also said Chamisa’s Constitutional Court challenge against Mnangagwa’s electoral victory lacked evidence.
“We did not have evidence on whether we had won the election or not,” Komichi said.
“What I can say for sure is that we did not verify the results. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) just announced the results and I stood up to say the results were fake; but after we lost in court, we have to respect the courts.”
In 2018, when Zec announced Mnangagwa as the winner of the presidential poll, Komichi stormed into the command centre, where the results were being announced and declared that they were fake, claiming he had evidence of Chamisa’s victory. In an affidavit presented in court, Komichi, under oath, said Chamisa had polled 2,6 million votes for the MDC Alliance party and, therefore, won the elections.
He also dismissed a political dialogue to tackle Zimbabwe’s economic crisis initiated by Mnangagwa, which Chamisa refused to join.
Komichi, who once declared undying loyalty to Chamisa, is now gunning for presidency of the MDC-T where he is set to square up with Khupe, Mwonzora and Elias Mudzuri.
Chamisa, in a separate interview, said he was well aware of the attempts by Mnangagwa to resolve the legitimacy issue by capturing structures of the MDC so that they confer to him what he desperately needed.
He said he would not be pressured into joining Polad and those who did so were “walking into hell and would lose their souls and sell out the future of the people of Zimbabwe”.
“I would lose my life, I would lose the life of Zimbabweans, because you are walking into a dungeon, you are walking into a den of lions, but also, you are walking into a bottomless pit.
Nobody will walk into hell and be told you will lose nothing, you will lose your soul and you will burn,” Chamisa charged.
Meanwhile, the MDC Veterans Activists Association, (MDC VAA) who call themselves party custodians and veterans have thrown weight their behind Chamisa.
The MDC VAA which was formed in 2008 and has had a love-hate relationship with the party, however, pledged undying support for Chamisa. MDC VAA deputy secretary-general Takavafira Zhou said they acknowledged the leadership of Chamisa which came out of the 2019 congress.