A response to Welshman Ncube and Tendai Biti and word of advice to elected officials under the MDC Alliance banner
By Sekuru Nhando
Immediately after the judgement of the Supreme Court, Tendai Biti told the press that the judgement was of no force and effect because it related to the MDC and not the MDC Alliance. Professor Welshman Ncube also said the same thing and even suggested that those people who were saying something different were “charlatans”.
In another posting he even suggested that some people were colluding with Zanu PF. Douglas Mwonzora was adamant that the MDC Alliance was not a political Party. Who was right?
A close look at the Alliance agreement shows that the MDC Alliance is a group of seven political parties constituted in terms of an alliance agreement called the Composite Political Cooperation Agreement. The purpose was to fight the 2018 elections as a block they would not contest one another. That is why they referred to the agreement as a “ non compete alliance” agreement.
The parties that entered into this non competed agreement were the MDC T led by Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC led by Welshman Ncube, the MCD led by Matthias Guchutu , Transform Zimbabwe led by Jacob Ngarivhume, Zimbabwe People First led by Agrippa Mutambara and Zanu Ndonga led by Denford Musiyarira.
In this agreement, the parties agreed to form a non-compete pre-election pact and a post election coalition government if they won the election. What this means is that if the block won the presidential election and was going to establish a government then that coalition government would be made up of the Alliance partners. Failure by the block to win the harmonized election meant the end of the partnership and if anything more it was subject to further negotiations.
In terms of Clause 2.0 the parties to the agreement agreed to “remain and operate as independent entities”. Specifically it says, “The parties agreed that the Alliance partners shall remain and operate as independent parties serve in those aspects specifically provided for in this agreement.” Each Party was given it’s own quota of candidates to field depending on its strength. Under Clause 3(e) “Each party will independently field its full quota of proportional representation candidates in the provinces it is fielding first past the post candidates serve where two or more parties are using a common name and symbol.”
In terms of the clause 3(i) “In the event of a vacancy occurring for the Presidency for whatever reason before the election then the candidate’s party shall second another candidate and if such vacancy occurs after the election then the provisions of the national constitution shall apply.”
If the parties formed the government the president could only remove a minister or deputy minister after consultation with the president of the party from which the minister or deputy minister came from. This is clear evidence the Alliance was never designed to be a political party and it never acted as one.
Under Clause 188.8.131.52 each party would appoint it’s own Chief Whip in Parliament. Similarly each party would appoint it’s own whips in local and provincial councils.
What is clear is that the Alliance was a loose non body corporate entity different from the parties that constituted it. Going into the ill fated Gweru congress Prof Ncube dissolved his MDC and joined the main MDC which at that time was purportedly led by Nelson Chamisa. Tendai Biti and the other 5 principals did not dissolve their parties and they remain intact to date. The Gweru Congress was convened using the constitution of the main MDC.
There isn’t an MDC Alliance constitution showing that it is not a separate political party. If indeed the “congless” in Gweru was an Alliance affair it should definitely have been its inaugural congress. However, it was known as the 5th Congress meaning that it was a follow up congress to the 4th MDC congress of 2014.
The purported resolutions from that congress, which were made public immediately after and they can be googled from many media houses’ web sites, were titled MDC 5th Congress Resolutions. Therefore, the judgement effecting the MDC cannot be defeated nor ignored on the basis that it does not mention MDC Alliance. It involves a major component of the MDC Alliance, the MDC as left by Morgan Tsvangirai and purportedly taken over by Nelson Chamisa.
Welshman Ncube and Tendai Biti would choose to mislead the MDC supporters and MPs on the basis that they belonged to a party called MDC Alliance because they participated in a ‘congress’ they were not supposed to participate in. They were not supposed to by virtue of not satisfying the constitutional demands of participating in an MDC congress. Furthermore, both men slaughtered 10 cattle each to “ feed” the delegates in a classic case of vote buying by the learned gentlemen. This shows Douglas Mwonzora, hate him or like him, was right.
What is also very clear is that each of the elected officials under the banner of the MDC Alliance was sponsored by an individual political party in the alliance. It is that party that has the power to recall that elected official in line with the interests of their individual political party.
So the MDC as mentioned in the Supreme Court judgment has control over all elected officials under the Alliance banner who were sponsored by the party. The MDC Alliance is not a body corporate and that is a fact everyone must know. In terms of the national constitution one of the grounds for recall is joining another political party other than the one that sponsored your election.
If the MDC A by the 2019 Gweru congress morphed into a political party then all elected officials who were sponsored by the different parties under the banner of the 2018 MDC Alliance practically cease to be such elected the moment they confirm membership of MDC Alliance party.
Specifically Section 129.1.(k) says, “if the Member has ceased to belong to the political party of which he or she was a member when elected to Parliament and the political party concerned, by written notice to the Speaker or the President of the Senate, as the case may be, has declared that the Member has ceased to belong to it.”
Each of the elected officials must individually arm themselves with the Supreme court judgment and the MDC Composite political cooperation agreement and consult their personal lawyers for advice on their legal status without dressings of propaganda. You need to weigh your options but bottom line its game over.