by STAFF REPORTER
PLANS are afoot to challenge the constitutionality of the MDC-T extraordinary congress (EOC), its election results and the subsequent appointments made by its new leader Douglas Mwonzora after an attempt to stop him at the party’s national council meeting last weekend failed.
The envisaged challenge is being spearheaded by MDC-T USA province, working with some strong Thokozani Khupe backers.
In a letter to the party’s secretary-general, Paurina Mpariwa, MDC-T USA provincial chairperson Den Moyo, said Mwonzora’s elevation could not be allowed to stand in a democracy.
“The December 27, 2020 extra-ordinary congress did not rise to the occasion as ordered by the Supreme Court, and, therefore, should be rendered null and void,” Moyo wrote.
“The February 6, 2021 national council reneged on its constitutional duty. It is a known fact that the acting president Dr Thokozani Khupe stopped the proceedings of the extraordinary congress midway after gross irregularities were uncovered.”
The MDC-T national council, sitting as an extension of congress to conclude the unfinished business of the extraordinary congress, appointed a second vice-president after amending the party constitution. The indaba also went ahead to appoint officers to posts ordinarily elected at congress under the constitution.
Moyo said the appointments were illegal and could not go unchallenged if the test of constitutionalism has to stand.
“Nowhere in the MDC-T constitution does it equate an extraordinary congress to an ordinary congress. The EOC had one purpose only, to elect a new president. It, therefore, goes without saying that the only business of that national council sitting as an extension of that congress should have been to finish that business. (Election of a president),” he wrote.
Mpariwa said she was yet to receive the party’s USA province complaint.
Highly-placed party sources told NewsDay that a team of lawyers from both inside and outside the country had been assembled to take Mwonzora head on and push him out.
Khupe and Elias Mudzuri, who were both appointed deputy presidents after the chaotic congress, have not been attending meetings for the standing committee and national council even after being offered a peace pipe by Mwonzora.
Mpariwa said Mudzuri had asked for leave of absence after being offered the president’s post, the second such offer after he was elevated to a similar position by the late party founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai in 2016 alongside Nelson Chamisa.
Mwonzora, through his friend-turned-foe, Partson Murimoga challenged Tsvangirai’s decision at a time the party constitution provided for one vice-president. “You know he had health challenges and he asked me for some time out, he talks to the president everyday and I am not aware of any disgruntlement,” she said.
Khalipani Phugeni who is Khupe’s spokesperson, said he and his boss did not attend the last MDC-T national council meeting because they both had prior engagements. There is also a group of Khupe loyalists, including Murimoga who are pushing for Mwonzora’s arrest for fraud involving $6 million they allege was siphoned from the party coffers.