By Professor Matodzi
Harare, July 22, 2016 – MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has been sued together with his party for the controversial appointment of national executive members Nelson Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri as party co-vice presidents.
This follows the appointment last week of the two powerful politicians into the party’s presidium.
The decision to introduce a second vice president, according to Tsvangirai, was a national council directive held Thursday last week although the former premier went on to appoint another vice president to make them three.
Tsvangirai is fighting to recover from colon cancer which saw him disappear from public life few months ago to seek treatment in South Africa.
On his return, the MDC-T leader said the appointment of the two was meant to assist him run the party as the country prepares for the 2018 elections.
The decision to appoint two party politicians to the main opposition’s presidium has angered some party politicians who felt Tsvangirai could not wake up one morning to handpick his blue-eyed boys to the lofty positions in the process putting them ahead of the rest in the race to succeed the veteran opposition leader.
Except for Thokozani Khuphe who was elected at congress, Chamisa and Mudzuri’s only claim to their current positions is through Tsvangirai’s benevolence.
While party heavy weights have been pondering their next move, it has taken an ordinary party member to bell the cat.
Patson Murimoga on Thursday approached the High Court through his lawyers to challenge the appointments.
Murimoga, an ordinary party member from Masvingo, insists Tsvangirai and the MDC-T national council ignored the party’s constitution in recommending and subsequently appointing the co-VPs.
“The National Council cannot appoint deputy president who should be voted for from nominations from provinces that make up the 5th respondent (MDC-T),” argues Murimoga in his affidavit.
“The National Council is provided for in Article 6.4.1 of the 5th Respondent’s Constitution and nowhere does it empower the National Council or the President of the 5th Respondent to appoint Deputy President.
“Congress has powers provided for in Article 6.2.3 of the 5th Respondent’s Constitution while the National Council is provided for in Article 6.4.7.”
In the court challenge, Tsvangirai is cited as first respondent, while Chamisa and Mudzuri are second and third.
Party national chairperson Lovemore Moyo is fourth, with the MDC-T as a party also cited as fifth respondent.
Tsvangirai has insisted his appointment were above board.
Further argues Murimoga, “I have also read the agenda of the National Council and I noticed that there was never an Agenda to appoint Deputy President and I am reliably advised there was never a resolution to appoint Deputy President as what 1st Respondent purported to do.
“Even if there was never such an agenda such resolution, both would be in violation of 5th respondent’s Constitution and therefore null and void.”
The appointments have left the party deeply divided amid fears this could also cause another split within the party.