The party constitution was more important in the succession battle for the late Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai than what he said or wanted, a survey by The Insider shows.
Of the 304 people that voted 137 or 45 percent preferred to abide by the constitution while 112 or 37 percent said the people should decide.
Only 55 or 18 percent said people should go with what Tsvangirai said.
Insider readers were asked: “Battle for succession in MDC: What is more important, what Tsvangirai said or what the party constitution says?”
The MDC-T has been bogged down over how Tsvangirai’s successor should be chosen with one group saying they should go for an elective extra-ordinary congress while others argued that there was no time for that so the party’s supreme body, the national council, should decide.
The national council appointed Nelson Chamisa first as acting president then as substantive leader but one of the party’s vice-presidents Thokozani Khupe and the party’s national chair Lovemore Moyo, organising secretary Abednigo Bhebhe and national spokesman Obert Gutu did not agree.
Moyo subsequently resigned from the party but the other three were expelled yesterday.
Gutu dismissed the expulsion saying he could not be fired by an illegitimate president, a comment that did not go well with some Insider readers as they felt he was personalising issues because he was expelled by the national council and not by Chamisa.
Lovemore Moyo said the infighting in the country’s main opposition party could cost it the elections because some of the party supporters were disgruntled.
Moyo told Newsday that Chamisa had begged him for two hours not to resign, but he refused.
“He visited me and tried to talk me out of resigning. I met him for nearly two hours and I stood my ground and raised those issues that have forced me to quit the MDC-T. I told him the way he assumed leadership was very undemocratic, unconstitutional and unprocedural. I told him this was allowed to happen because the party has been captured by some forces.
“I still stand by that and this has got nothing to do with personalities, but it’s about following the MDC-T’s founding democratic processes, a constitutional process that would have seen us elect an acting president,” Moyo said.
Those arguing for constitutionalism are wondering why Chamisa chose the controversial method of getting to power when he could have been popularly elected at a congress. But as Moyo said, that party “has been captured by some forces”.
But it also appears that it was not only the issue of leadership that Moyo was not happy about. He also seemed to be against the coalition MDC Alliance because he felt that MDC was carrying minority insignificant parties on its back.
“It is very unfortunate that at this juncture that instead of us focusing on the enemy, ZANU-PF, we find ourselves disintegrating to pieces, which becomes a minus in building an electoral force to dethrone the junta. It is difficult to gauge if we still have a chance to dethrone the junta. It is a very unfortunate, but unavoidable fact,” Moyo told Newsday.
“The MDC-T is actually building parties from scratch with this MDC Alliance thing. Some of these parties in the Alliance had no structures whatsoever, but they now have structures courtesy of the MDC-T.
“They have formed structures using the momentum that we have built over the years as the MDC-T. In reality and if truth be told, it is MDC-T running the show, it is the MDC-T with the people, it is the MDC-T with policies, while other so called parties are about personalities, the leaders who front them and nothing else.