MDC Alliance members apparently aligned to vice-president Elias Mudzuri have called for a February congress arguing that party president Nelson Chamisa’s term has expired after he took over from founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
MDC Alliance members were involved in violent skirmishes on Tuesday as some attempted to march from Africa Unity Square to Morgan Tsvangirai House (formerly called Harvest House).
In an interview MDC Alliance member, Warship Dumba said the demonstration was in line with the opposition party’s constitution so a congress had to be held in February next year, to confirm the party’s leadership.
“Yes there was a demonstration against Nelson Chamisa actually [party] structures are demanding that congress be held according to the constitution.
“That date must be 14th of February, the very date that Chamisa got to be the leader of the MDC, he was only given one year which actually expires on the 14th or 16th of February,” he said.
Dumba said their attempt at a peaceful march failed after being attacked by other MDC Alliance members who had gathered outside Morgan Tsvangirai House.
“As soon as people assembled in Africa Unity Square waiting for some other people so they could march peacefully to Harvest House a gang of people came from Harvest House. Actually we were told that there is a gang assembling at Harvest House that is coming to attack us.
“It was so fast that before people were told about the impending danger some disappeared but those who were there were actually attacked by the thugs,” Dumba said.
He said he recalled one woman who was apparently struck by a stones on the head, abdomen and legs.
Dumba said he now was experiencing difficulty in walking.
Dumba who claims to have been in the MDC’s “intelligence sector” from 2010 until the passing of Tsvangirai in 2017 was certain those he described as “thugs” were supporters of party president Chamisa.
“Yes they are known because those people who are demonstrating are also MDC and those people who attacked them are also from MDC,” he said.
Although the alliance’s elective congress has been scheduled to occur at the latest in October 2019, Dumba was adamant that February was the time handle the issue of the party leadership.
“No it cannot be in October. October yes for the full congress but for the replacement of Morgan Tsvangirai it has to be in February that is according to the party constitution,” he said.
MDC Alliance spokesperson Jacob Mafume refuted Dumba’s claim saying that the party’s elective congress was held every five years with all the positions up for contest.
“There is nothing to demonstrate about, the congress will be held in October when it is due and the congress will be held for everyone,” Mafume said.
“A congress happens every five years so a congress will be held by the end of October, that is was when it was held when the current leadership was put in and Chamisa was then endorsed by the National Council to finish Morgan Tsvangirai’s term,” he said.
Mafume said it was illogical to hold a congress to elect a single individual.
“It does not make sense to change the terms of office of other members who were elected for five years, because when one leader dies, not everyone dies,” he said.