MDC-T woes persist as coalition ally challenges MPs recall, new appointments

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By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent

THE Thokozani Khupe-led MDC-T has been dragged into yet another fight, this time with coalition partner, Multiracial Christian Democrats (MCD), over the recent unilateral recall of MPs and subsequent nomination of their replacements.

MCD is party to the MDC loose pre-election merger with a handful opposition parties which were brought together under the Composite Political Cooperation Agreement (CPCA) of 2017.

Under the agreement, the parties resolved to support a common candidate for the presidential elections while also agreeing to field a single candidate from the different parties for parliamentary elections.

The agreement, according to the parties, still subsists.

However, MDC-T has gone ahead with the recall of MPs deemed hostile to Khupe’s authority and went on to choose new candidates to fill up the vacant posts.

Following the development, MCD has red-flagged its allies, bringing another episode to the opposition’s leadership soap opera.

The Christian Democrats’ chief convener, Mathias Guchutu told Friday a letter of complaint had been sent to MDC-T outlining their grievances.

“Indeed, we delivered the letter Wednesday which was received by Morgen Komichi as national chairman on behalf of MDC-T,” said Guchutu.

In the letter dated 27 August 2020, gleaned by this publication, the Christian Democrats wrote, “It is our opinion that MDC-T’s decision to unilaterally appoint proportional representatives (PR) without consulting alliance partners over the replacement of Manicaland and Midlands constituencies’ PR representatives is illegal and can be objected at the ZEC (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission).

“Please note that although ZEC has given 14 days to lodge complaints, we feel as alliance partners, we need to engage you first on the matter before we approach ZEC.”

According to section 4 (3)(10)(e) of the cooperation agreement entered prior to the 2018 harmonised elections, Christian Democrats were entitled to nominate a candidate to contest the Gutu Central parliamentary seat under the MDC-T banner, and have another candidate on the PR list of MDC-T in Midlands province.

A similar arrangement was entered into between MDC-T and Zanu Ndonga, which was supposed to field a candidate in Chipinge Central and nominate one person as a PR representative for Manicaland and another to be seconded to the Manicaland provincial council.

Added Guchutu, “It’s a cause for concern that MDC-T did not even entertain the courtesy of, at least, informing the alliance partners of their notice to fill parly vacancies following recent recalls of MPs.”

A fortnight ago, Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) also wrote a letter demanding a share of the $1 million allocated to MDC-T through the Political Parties Finance Act.

ZimPF cited its role in mobilising voters to rally behind the grouping of opposition political formations ahead of the elections.