MDC-T Secretary General Douglas Mwonzora has fired pot shots at the lawyer-studded MDC-Alliance saying they have let down their members by not educating and leading them in the legal path to avoid being recalled from parliament.
The three most senior MDC-Alliance leaders, including the president Nelson Chamisa and his co-deputies Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube are all lawyers by profession.
Mwonzora, who is gunning for the MDC-T presidency at tomorrow’s extraordinary congress, also refuted claims his outfit was a Zanu PF project to destroy the opposition in the country.
“The recalls had to happen. We did not expel anybody from the party. People who were recalled expelled themselves. In terms of the constitution of the MDC-T, if you join or form another political party, you cease to be a member of the MDC-T automatically. So by their actions these men and women ceased to be MPs and councilors of the MDC-T,” Mwonzora said in an interview.
“What we did was to inform parliament about that, to inform the minister (Local Government), to inform the councils. These men and women knew about the section of the constitution and certainly the leaders of the MDC-Alliance, who are lawyers, knew about the constitution that it provided for that, yet they sacrificed their members; they treated their members like cannon fodder and we regret that there were recalls but these recalls were necessary,” he said.
“We do not exist to recall people and as secretary general, I had to sign the recall letters and it is like signing a death warrant for somebody and it’s not an enjoyable exercise. So we want to plead with our friends in the MDC-Alliance to be responsible, the leaders to be responsible. We have lawyers in the MDC-Alliance; they have Biti, they have Ncube and the president too; those people badly let their members down by not advising them on issues of law,” Mwonzora said.
“Our agenda in parliament is to bring key political, social and economic reforms in Zimbabwe. So after our congress you will see that we will concentrate on the reform agenda. One of the reforms of course is the electoral reforms that we are going to concentrate on. Under these electoral reforms is to have what we call the diaspora vote. We think that the diaspora has been playing a key role in sustaining the families in Zimbabwe so they have been contributing to the country’s gross domestic product,” he said.
“So they need the right to vote. What we are going to do as MDC is to present the paper in parliament, to the Ministry of Justice, as well as to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission on how to make the diaspora vote credible and safe to answer to the questions that Zanu PF has been giving with regards to the diaspora vote.”
Mwonzora said their agenda was to make sure that they keep the government busy and to fulfill what it promised to the electorate but not to praise the government.
“We also make sure that the people of Zimbabwe are not shortchanged by the government; that is our agenda as MPs, we are not there as praise singers of the ruling party, but of course, when they do something which is correct, we must acknowledge, we must be able to say that you have done something correct. But we are not an extension of the ruling party,” he said.
He said after congress people would start to see MDC-T’s new way of doing things, adding that he was sure to romp to victory ahead of the acting party leader Khupe, Elias Mudzuri and Morgan Komichi.
“On the by-elections, we said we were ready for the by-elections, we are not as weak as people think, but let me tell you that the party which has gone to court to stop the by-election is the MDC-Alliance. In June this year, Chalton Hwende, Happymore Chidziva and Prosper Mutseyami went to court and cited MDC-T, President of Zimbabwe, ZEC and Justice minister and their prayer was that there must be no by-elections.”
He said it is them who stopped the by-election and when the Ministry of Health announced a ban of by-elections, they started complaining forgetting that they are the ones who went to court to stop the by-elections.
The MDC-T has recalled over 30 legislators and over 100 MDC-Alliance councillors across the country. The development critics say has weakened service delivery in councils and left constituencies without representatives in parliament, thereby increasing the chances of the affected areas lagging behind in development.