Nixon Nyikadzino describes himself as the acting president of the opposition MDC-T following the axing of Thokozani Khupe from the party.
By Moses Matenga
Nyikadzino was elected secretary general of the party in Bulawayo in 2018 but a lot changed following a Supreme Court ruling in April, as the judgement effectively nullified the appointment of Nelson Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri as vice presidents by the late Morgan Tsvangirai.
NewsDay Senior Reporter Moses Matenga spoke to Nyikadzino on the current party status, the way forward and what needs to be done.
MM: There has been confusion over your status as the MDC-T SG post Supreme Court ruling, take us through the current status, who is Nixon Nyikadzino in the context of the MDC-T politics?
NN: Nixon Nyikadzino is the current secretary general of the MDC-T that contested in the 2018 elections, the MDC-T that has a palm and a child at the centre as a symbol.
An entity that has two members in parliament, an entity totally different from the MDC-T 2014.
So if you want to differentiate the two simply give them their years of existence and the distinction emerges.
The ruling simply resolved the leadership wrangle after the death of our icon Morgan Richard Tsvangirai.
It put to rest the long battle of power between Nelson Chamisa and Thokozani Khupe.
We were not part of that battle since we had emerged as of 2018 and put our new footprint on the Zimbabwe political map as a new child with great ambitions.
MM: You are now the MDC-T acting president, which direction do you wish your party should take now?
NN: In the context of the ruling and in view of part of the leadership having gone back to history to join and work with their 2014 structures, we were left with no choice but to steer the MDC-T 2018 ship towards a Zimbabwe we want and as things stand, and in terms of leadership, I am the only senior member of the standing committee available and as such I can with no doubt state that I have to now shift from being secretary general and become the party acting president till the extraordinary congress which by the dictates of our amended 2018 constitution should be held in a year’s time.
There is no doubt that people are beginning to see the party as a new vehicle towards both political and economic emancipation against a vampire state that eats its own children.
The party is poised to become a voice of reason that is not only there to challenge for state power but to ground itself on issues that affect the people.
It must push the lion to the corner and ensure that it acts on the demands as pronounced by the people.
Gone are the days when the government would ignore the voice of the people. If they do that, then let them at their own peril.
Obviously the first stage is going to focus on party building, restructuring and gap filling the existing structures, aggressive and conscious and ideologically based membership recruitment and mass movement action premised on scientific community organisation, and results oriented milestones.
The party’s voice is going to be heard in the streets, tributaries, confluences and above all God shall hear us and let pharaoh soften his heart on the suffering people of Zimbabwe.
The state must be held accountable at all levels, be it human rights, social, economic or political matters, they cannot wine and dine while the people suffer.
This is the new trajectory for this party and I will be in the forefront to ensure this comes to fruition.
MM: The court nullified the Bulawayo congress that elected you as the SG and now the party has Mwonzora acting in that capacity, directing the forthcoming extraordinary congress, are you going to let that happen and if you are going to stop that, how are you going to do that?
NN: The party did not in any way nullify our congress.
It nullified the leadership and took the MDC-T back to 2014.
We were formed in 2018 on the 21st of April 2018 at Stanley Square in Bulawayo because if the ruling intended to do that then it means there is neither MDC-T 2018 nor MDC Alliance.
Put differently, Mwonzora wouldn’t be having the power to recall anyone because those entities would have been dissolved.
It would defeat logic and common sense for the court of appeal to have implied that.
In fact political parties are voluntary organisations as enshrined in section 67 of our constitution and have their own ways of dissolution as provided for in their constitution.
In our case, article 21 of our constitution is clear as regards the procedure that must be followed when wanting to dissolve the party and that process has not been followed and so anyone who says the party was dissolved is daydreaming and hallucinating in the dark corners of nowhere.
Mwonzora can go hang with his MDC-T 2014.
Here I am protecting the people’s project that is uniquely different from a Zanu PF sponsored MDC-T where Komichi, Mudzuri and my dear former president (Khupe) have found a safe haven and a soft landing of pieces of silver.
MM: What in your view is the best way forward for the MDC formations and opposition parties in Zimbabwe?
NN: My heart bleeds as I see the opposition continuously being fragmented.
My honest take is that at some point we must converge to work together and use our different strengths for the good of our people.
More so, we must not conflict ourselves in knowing the difference between charisma and mediocrity.
Some leaders are there by chance or sympathy and yet others have it.
You can claim the name, members, money, property etc but it all boils down to your appeal to the real shareholders, the people.
If they do not like you like in this case, they will show you the way out at the ballot.
Some of us have come to terms with that reality and no wonder why we are prepared to go all the way and rebuild a party that was not really known but only its leadership who made names elsewhere before the formation of the party in 2018.
At the end of the day when two elephants fight it is the grass that suffers. Zanu PF is laughing all the way to the bank.
I am convinced that even this ruling and without taking anything from the learned judges has created confusion in the opposition society while Zanu PF enjoys the dance floor.