POLITICAL scientist Professor Jonathan Moyo says Douglas Mwonzora’s manoeuvre for the MDC-T to contest the 26 March by-elections under the MDC-Alliance banner is null and void at law and would confirm the country as a pariah state if allowed by the courts or the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).
Mwonzora wrote to Zec on 3 January indicating he is president of the MDC-Alliance, based on the pre-2018 election pact which MDC-T was part of.
He also informed the electoral body that other MDC formations should cease using the MDC acronym.
“We are the owners of the Movement for Democratic Change name,” Mwonzora wrote in the letter.
“Over the years, there has been so many derivatives put on it. However, the leadership of this party was defined by the Supreme Court in the judgement in SC 56/20. Pursuant to this judgement the party held its extraordinary congress on December 27, 2020, where I was elected the substantive president of the party.
“By virtue of the Composite Political Agreement signed on August 5, 2017, and the subsequent meetings of the MDC Alliance, I assumed the leadership of the MDC Alliance.”
However, in a series of Tweets political scientist Prof Jonathan Moyo said the 2017 MDC-Alliance was not a political party, but an alliance ahead of the 2018 polls. The MDC-Alliance only existed as a party in 2019 after the alliance failed to win the polls and is therefore different to the 2017 alliance.
“No one needs to be a lawyer to know that the 2017 MDC-A was not a political party, but a pre2018 election alliance; meant to become a post2018 election coalition govt, had the pre-election alliance won the 2018 poll. The 2017 MDC-A was thus only a pre-2018 election alliance,” Moyo said.
“Agreements have a duration. The 2017 MDC-A pre-2018 election agreement did not mutate into a post-2018 election coalition government; because the pre-2018 election alliance (MDC-A) did not win the 2018 election. As such, the 2017 pre-election (MDC-A) agreement expired in 2018.
“Since 2018, no pre-election alliance agreement has been entered into by @OurMDCT with any party for 2022 by-elections or 2023 elections or any elections. The @OurMDCT cannot use an expired 2018 agreement, which was never renewed, for 2022 by-elections or 2023 elections. No!
“Finally, one need not hold a brief for @nelsonchamisa to realise that his @mdczimbabwe is not connected to the 2017 (MDC-A) pre-2018 election Agreement nor to any pre-election alliance; it’s a political party in its own right formed in 2019 and is entitled to its full rights.”
In another thread, Moyo described Mwonzora’s letter as shocking. He said if Zec or the courts allow MDC-T to contest the by-elections as the MDC-Alliance, Zimbabwe would be confirmed as a pariah state.
“@DMwonzora and his @OurMDCT present their quest to contest the by-elections as a legal matter, premised on the 2017 pre-2018 election pact, but their arguments are all propaganda based on an agreement that expired long ago when the 2017 Alliance did not form govt in 2018,” Moyo said.
“The 2017 pre-election Alliance pact that expired in 2018, after the Alliance did not win the poll to form a govt which would have extended the pact to 2023, had one and clear identity which was to use, not a common name but a common election symbol for all candidates.
“The expired 2017 Alliance pact says each alliance partner candidate shall seek nomination at the Nomination Court under its name, but using the alliance common symbol; yet @DMwonzora’s ZEC letter lists only @OurMDCT officials to approve nominations; even for other parties.”
Moyo also said Mwonzora falsely claims that the expired pact provided that the leader of the MDC-T would lead the alliance. “No. It said the ‘presidential candidate’ would be the ‘best individual who can win the election’ & specifically named that individual as Morgan Tsvangirai,” Moyo said.
Moyo added that whereas Mwonzora indicated that he was the president of the MDC-Alliance, the expired 2017 pre-election pact did not create offices or officers, but only provided for election candidates.
“Tsvangirai was the presidential candidate, not President, of the Alliance,” Moyo said.
“As a result of the Supreme Court judgment of 31 March 2020 in the Mashavira case, Hon Mwonzora is debatably Tsvangirai’s successor as MDC-T leader; but it is not debatable that he did not and could not inherit Tsvangirai’s popularity as the ‘best presidential candidate’.
“All told @OurMDCT’s claim to the MDC-A name is based on a non-existent 2017 pre-election Alliance Agreement that expired in 2018; and Hon @DMwonzora’s claim that he is President of the MDC-A is based on a non-existent office, not even in the 2017 pre-2018 election agreement!”