The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Nelson Chamisa says it has expelled three senior officials linked to Thokozani Khupe’s MDC formation, which recently recalled some lawmakers claiming that they are the legitimate leaders of the opposition party formed in 1999 under the tutelage of the late Morgan Tsvangirai.
In a series of tweets today, the MDC said, “Morgen Komichi, Douglas Mwonzora and Elias Mudzuri have expelled themselves from the party on account of their decision to work with ZANU PF. They are no longer members of the MDCA. Their replacements shall be announced in due course.”
Mwonzora and Komichi recently recalled from parliament Thabitha Khumalo, Charlton Hwende, Prosper Mutseyami and Lilian Timveos saying they are now in charge of the MDC formation that was led by Tsvangirai before Chamisa became the new leader of the party.
The two noted that they made the move as part of a recent Supreme Court ruling which declared Chamisa’s leadership of the party as null and void. The MDC formation led by Chamisa argues that its lawmakers were elected under the banner of the MDC Alliance, a group of opposition parties that contested the 2018 general elections.
Chamisa’s MDC formation also says it won’t be part of the Supreme Court’s ruling to revert to old structures and hold an extraordinary congress to replace the late Tsvangirai.
“The MDC Alliance does not recognize the attempt to hold an extra-ordinary congress organized by Zanu PF in the name of our party. We condemn Zanu PF's efforts to impose its proxies as our leadership. Our 2019 Congress was validly held and the resolutions made stand.”
Zanu PF has dismissed suggestions that it influenced the outcome of the Supreme Court ruling.
The opposition party has also suspended its participation in the House of Assembly and Senate.
“All MDC Alliance MPs shall forthwith suspend participation in Parliament & disengage from all platforms where we interact with ZANU PF. We have commenced consultations with our constituencies on whether to totally withdraw from Parliament. A decision will be taken shortly.”
The Supreme Court in March this year ruled that Chamisa is not the legitimate leader of the MDC. The High Court last May declared Chamisa an illegitimate leader of the MDC and ordered the party to choose a new president after a month. The MDC filed an appeal against the order saying Chamisa was the rightful leader of the party following the death of Morgan Tsvangirai.
Chamisa’s rise to the helm of the party led to serious internal rifts between members of the party, resulting in Khupe leading a faction known as the MDC-T and Chamisa reverting to the old MDC formation. Chamisa brought in several MDC parties back to the main party, forming what they named the MDC Alliance.
An MDC extraordinary congress reaffirmed Chamisa’s leadership of the party but Khupe fought all the way to the Supreme Court where she wanted current structures of the MDC to be dismantled.
In the 2019 High Court ruling, Judge Edith Mushore declared Chamisa’s leadership of the MDC “unconstitutional and therefore null and void.”
The MDC claimed at that time that the ruling was part of a big plot by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s governing ruling Zanu PF party to destabilize it.
Chamisa contested the disputed 2018 presidential election won by Mnangagwa. He still maintains that he won the poll though the matter was taken to the Electoral Court. which declared Mnangagwa the winner of the election.