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The MDC Alliance is now constitutionally without a leader following the expiry of the temporary term of the leader Mr Nelson Chamisa on 14 February 2019. Chamisa ascended to the thrown after twisting and circumventing the constitution. In a show of power hungry tendency Chamisa trampled upon the constitution with no shame. His actions are a clear warning to Zimbabweans that if he gets his foot to the State House the rule of law will fly through the window.
According to the MDC Constitution a substantive leader will have to be elected through a Congress to be convened within 12months after the passing of a sitting president. The former MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai died on the 14th February 2018.
Now MDC must show the world that it is indeed democratic and call for a congress. This congress should be constitutionally presided by the Vice President. Chamisa having tainted his respect for the constitution he will not preside over the congress. Mudzuri will then supervise the October 2019 Congress where all positions shall be contested. Cracks are now visible as true democrats in the MDC are leaning on the side of Democracy and are calling for the respect of constitutionalism.
Chamisa was stopped in his tracks when he tried to influence the Party’s National Council to pass a resolution that would see him side step an Extra-Ordinary Congress. This bold move to shake Chamisa back to reality has shown that Chamisa is fast losing grip of the MDC. Chamisa was reminded that the Constitution stipulates that a Congress be held within 12months of the passing of a sitting President. It is because Chamisa now faces serious legitimate issues such that his rhetoric about ED’s legitimacy becomes ironical. Considering that Morgan Tsvangirai passed away on 14 February 2017 it then follows that a Congress be held anytime from now and not in October as has been touted by Chamisa.
It is the Secretary General of the MDC Alliance Mr Douglas Mwonzora who carries the burden to decide and announce a date and Convene the Extra Ordinary Congress in accordance with the MDC Constitution. In view of the fact that Mwonzora and Chamisa do not see eye to eye fireworks are expected behind the scenes.
Chamisa is now in a very unenviable position of having to compete for this position for the first time. Because of this confusion in his camp Chamisa has failed to engage ED in any dialogue as he has no mandate to do so from his own party. Chamisa hounded Thokozani Khupe out of Harvest House when the Extra Ordinary Congress was imminent after Tsvangirai’s death and he had to fall back on the captured NC to rescue him from the imminent humiliation had a Congress been convened. He proved that he will not respect any law or the constitution and it will be disaster is he is elected to any national duty.
This time Chamisa wont be incharge of the Congress as he will be just like any other delegate to the Congress.It may have to be adjudicated by a neutral convernor should Mr Mwonzora choose to contest. It is clear that in any internal elections Chamisa has not done well. He was trumped by Mwonzora to the position of the Secretary General. He did not hide his to be culture of never admitting defeat. He walked out of the Congress and only returned to the party through the back door after he was appointed Vice President in an unconstitutional move by Tsvangirai.
Chamisa is ill prepared for this imminent Congress as he has been busy on useless nationwide rallies while he neglected engagement with the voting delegates.
While Chamisa was engaging courts Mwonzora was reported to have been quietly and merticulously engaging the 5000 or so delegates to Congress.
Chamisa advanced an argument that MDC Alliance is a totally new party. Alliance is a conglomerate of different Parties which did not sign any treaty and neither is there a binding Constitution.The Alliance is precariously anchored on the original MDC Constitution. So Chamisa and his backers are in a fix.
In this fix the question of his legitimacy will unenviably draw him back to the original MDC Constitution which will define who the real leader of the original MDC is, which leader should assume Presidency of the Alliance. So either way Chamisa is in a fix.He cannot for any justifiable reason ignore the Constitutional question.For him to be a good leader he must be guided by the constitution.
Chamisa must remember that his real fight is not against ZANU PF anymore but against his own Constitution. The legal affairs of the MDC is in serious confusion. It is a dog’s breakfast.
Chamisa can not demand Constitutionalism from ZANU PF while he is arbitrarily trashing his own internal Party Statutes.His uncontrolled thirsty for power has technically exposed his dictatorship tendencies. It shows as well that Chamisa has no support from MDC natural funders Well, to those who know, it’s not news. The US was behind Biti leaving the MDC previously. In the same they forced Tsvangirai to accept him back and when Chamisa took over to accelerate Biti’s rise through the ranks of chinhu chavo.
It’s certainly correct that the US still view Biti as their real man not Chamisa. And they both know it. The greatest threat to Chamisa is Mwonzora and Mudzuri combination. Biggest headache for Tendai is that he is not liked as much as Chamisa in their ranks, Chamisa himself is not also liked as much as Mwonzora who is regarded as politically mature.
It should then be understood that Conventional wisdom tells us that good political societies are built on the principles of constitutionalism. This entails upholding the rule of law and separation of powers. This is to ensure an even distribution of power where a society is “built on principles of law, not men”.
In its formation MDC reinvented their constitution. to build a constitutional opposition. They hoped move away from one-party authoritarian states to embrace a constitutional political order and representative democracy. They also enacted two-term presidential limits.
This was a clear recognition of the need for radical changes … In some cases, it meant a total break with a dreadful situation the country was in but in most cases it meant recognising that a constitutional framework built around the one party system that had bred authoritarian and dictatorial rule was a recipe for political instability and economic decline. But this had not entirely quashed a culture of entitlement to rule. Tsvangirai died being the only man on the helm and Chamisa took over and continued with the destruction of Democracy This is evident in what is now referred to as the Chamisa chetechete” or the “constitutional coup”.
This is when Chamisa tries to remain beyond his tenure in office, effectively becoming “president for life”, changing constitutions to do so. MDC is forgetting that the basic argument is that humans have inalienable and natural rights to life, freedom and estate. And for us to exercise these rights, we create a political society of consent where constitutional principles reign supreme. Chamisa has already failed that principle and indeed putting him in a national duty will be surely cruel to the people. Chamisa has forgotten that the purpose of the government and law is to uphold and protect the natural rights of men. So long as the government fulfils this purpose, the laws given by it are valid and binding, but when it ceases to fulfil it, then the laws would not have validity and the government can be thrown out of power.
This interpretation of the purpose of government also informs the principles of good governance. These are transparency, responsibility, accountability, participation, responsiveness, and respecting the rule of law. The social contract between those who govern and those who are governed is founded on this rights-based approach to governance. This means that leaders govern at the pleasure of the people, and do not rule with sovereign license at the cost of constitutional rules. The well-being and rights of the people must be the central concern of those who govern.
Good governance entails playing by the rules. It requires accepting electoral defeat if the people willed it so. Chamisa now stands for the opposite of the ideology he is supposed to stand for.
His problem is clinging to power this is only one manifestation of a lack of respect for constitutional rules
But the MDC crisis also points to a deeper governance problem should they be allowed to form a government. leadership attitudes towards “governance”. Chamisa is yet to appreciate that constitutional rules matter.
More importantly, given a commitment to good governance through MDC leaders must do more than show respect for the rules. They must also realise that they need to govern – not rule – at the pleasure of the people.
This would speak to building a culture of accountability and good governance through a change in mindset – instead of seeing their job as ruling the people leaders would see their role as governing the people. It would also entail vacating political office when your time is up. Chamisa’s time was up on the 14 th of February.
Chamisa’s disregard of the law manifested itself when he inaugurated himself as the president. In any other country he would have been caged for Treason.
Now it makes sense why MDC snubbed the dialogue. It is because they do not have anyone to represent them. Chamisa is now the illegitimate leader who is accusing everyone of illegitimacy. Source Masimba Mavaza