BY MOSES MATENGA
CHAOS rocked the MDC-T national executive and national council meetings on Saturday with calls for the nullification of the party’s December 2020 extraordinary congress presidential election results, NewsDay heard yesterday.
It has emerged that one of the proponents of the motion to nullify the election results, Andrew Chaponda challenged party leader Douglas Mwonzora’s victory citing irregularities in the voting process.
But Chaponda was allegedly kicked out of the virtual meeting on Saturday due to his fierce interjections.
He was kicked out despite his motion having been seconded by Kariba MP John Houghton.
Party spokesperson Witness Dube confirmed that the motion to challenge the results and set aside Mwonzora’s election as party president was indeed moved. But he claimed that it was eventually quashed as the mover of the motion was kicked out of the meeting.
“The motion was defeated,” Dube said. “It wasn’t popular. The mover of the motion, Chaponda, regrettably tried to hold the national council at ransom by engaging in malicious interjections and gross indiscipline during the meeting,” he added.
Chaponda, who is said to be based in the United States, was not immediately available for comment.
He is also the one who recently challenged Elias Mudzuri’s ascendancy to the vice-presidency as unconstitutional.
Mudzuri lost during the party’s December congress elections to Mwonzora. The move by Mwonzora to appoint him vice-president was adjudged to be a desperate attempt to avoid the collapse of the party and to pacify the former Harare mayor and his followers.
“The MDC-T national council, sitting as an extension of congress, moved to amend the MDC constitution to create the position of a second vice-president in the party,” Dube said.
“This was an effort to align the party constitution with that of the country as well as closing a leadership vacuum that has the potential of creating instability within the party,” he added.
However, the Thokozani Khupe camp is reportedly livid about Mudzuri’s appointment and plans to take legal action to oust him from the post in the same manner a Gokwe party official dragged the late former party leader, Morgan Tsvangirai to court for appointing Mudzuri and Nelson Chamisa his deputies.
Elias Mashavire won the case in March last year at the Supreme Court which ruled that the party should hold an extraordinary congress to elect a new leader, adding that Chamisa was illegally at the helm of the party..
Mwonzora eventually won after a chaotic and violent congress which was marred by several irregularities.
Party chairman Morgen Komichi also confirmed that the motion to nullify the congress was moved, but said it was “in the minority”.
“Those are some of the contributions that came out, but they were not in the majority,” Komichi said.
As a way to avoid further chaos in the party, Mwonzora is said to have also lured expelled members, including former organising secretary Abednigo Bhebhe and promised them readmission.
“National council considered and resolved to readmit everyone who has expressed desire to rejoin the party. Notably, former national organising secretary Abednigo Bhebhe and former deputy chairperson of Bulawayo province, Dorcas Sibanda were duly readmitted into the party as per their expression of interest,” Dube said.
Former Home Affairs co-minister Giles Mutsekwa was appointed deputy national chairperson, while Rhino Mashaya was rewarded with the post of deputy national organiser.
Yvonne Musarurwa became the party’s national youth chairperson.
The national council, Dube said, reiterated that there should be no retribution on any member of the party as a consequence of the extraordinary congress outcomes.
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