By Staff Reporter
MAXWELL Shumba, a former chief strategist to the now late MDC founding president, Morgan Tsvangirai, has labelled senior MDC Alliance officials and their supporters a disappointment for dismissing a recent Supreme Court ruling declaring Nelson Chamisa’s leadership of the main opposition as illegitimate.
Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that MDC should revert to its 2014 structures and organise an extraordinary congress to elect a new leadership within three months.
This ruling was not well accepted by most officials and supporters in the main opposition party.
However, Shumba, now based in the US, said MDC supporters must not pretend to be fighting for democracy while their behaviour was not any different from that of Zanu PF, whose leaders they accuse of dictatorship.
“As a founding member of the MDC and now former member, I am deeply disappointed by my former colleagues who are either viciously attacking or mocking the Supreme Court ruling against their dear leader,” Shumba told NewZimbabwe.com in an interview.
“Their abhorrent actions render their claim to be fighting for democracy and rule of law in Zimbabwe sound hollow. One cannot purport to be fighting for the rule of law at rallies and in white papers, but fail to respect the rule of law in life. Democracy is rooted in the respect of rule of law.”
Shumba went on to advise Chamisa and his followers to adhere to constitutionalism.
“Any other action stinks of hypocrisy and makes a naked truth that you are no better than the Zanu PF you wish to replace. Sad to say the world is watching with dismay at this hypocrisy. I urge my former colleagues to move from this debacle guided by the provisions of the Supreme Court ruling,” he said.
Shumba was once chairperson of MDC’s US province before he jumped ship and formed his own political outfit — Zimbabwe First (ZimFirst).
In 2013, Tsvangirai appointed Shumba, an environmental scientist, as his strategist after his former adviser Alex Magaisa had returned to his United Kingdom base. Shumba was among nine other technocrats appointed to advise Tsvangirai to reorganise the party after his crushing defeat by Zanu PF’s President Robert Mugabe in the 2013 harmonised elections.
However, Shumba later dumped the MDC and in 2015 officially launched ZimFirst at his rural home in Murewa.
Addressing scores of party supporters at the launch ceremony then, Shumba claimed he had dumped the MDC-T because its leadership was driven by “greed” and “dishonesty”.
“As one of the founder members of the MDC and one of Tsvangirai’s chief strategists, I felt that the movement had lost the vision through greediness,” he said.