MDC, ZCTU in ugly row over congress

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By Alois Vinga

THERE is growing confusion over who is running the opposition MDC’s elective congress, after the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU)’s secretary general, Japhet Moyo dismissed claims he was chairing the party’s independent electoral commission.

Disgruntled MDC secretary general, Douglas Mwonzora who was expected to challenge current leader Nelson Chamisa for the position of president, pulled out citing “irregularities” in the manner the nomination process was being handled by the ZCTU.

But Moyo on Tuesday, said neither the ZCTU nor him in his personal capacity had ever been invited to take charge of the MDC congress. It has also emerged that, Mwonzora actually wrote a letter of complaint addressed to Moyo raising objections to the manner in which the process was being handled.

“The labour federation in its own standing and in my personal capacity, were never tasked to run the nomination process.  For someone to then proceed to write a complaint to me purporting that I am a part of an imaginary independent commission is unfair,” Moyo said.

“If any there was such an appointment, I was not formally advised and in any case if the request had been put forward, it was not going to be automatic, it should have been approved by our General Council.”

However, while Moyo was distancing the ZCTU and himself from the process, MDC spokesperson Jacob Mafume said, the respected labour leader was the chairperson of the party’s independent electoral commission charged with running the congress.

“The independent electoral commission is chaired by the ZCTU and Japhet Moyo in particular,” Mafume told when contacted for comment.

In withdrawing from the presidential race, Mwonzora accused Moyo of failing to play his role and protect him from vote fraud which he alleges has characterised the party’s nomination process.

Moyo reacted angrily to having the ZCTU and his name dragged into the MDC’s messy internal affairs describing this as very “unfair and unethical”.

In response to Mwonzora’s accusations through a letter copied to Chamisa and the party’s national standing committee expressed his displeasure at the attempts to soil his name and the ZCTU through party’s messy squabbles

“I refer to your letter dated April 11, 2019, in which you raise a number of grievances against the electoral processes in the MDC, in which you refer to me as the chairperson of the independent electoral commission.

“Let me put it on record that the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, is not aware of any involvement in MDC elections, more so our purported appointment to the so called independent electoral commission. We have not been formally approached or received any formal communication to that effect hence our absence in the whole process. ZCTU does not work on rumors and hearsay.

“It is unfortunate that you take it upon yourself to go to the media to tarnish my image and that of the ZCTU as an institution. The ZCTU would like to register and express its displeasure with such conduct,” Moyo said in the letter.

Mwonzora’s supporters in the MDC have accused Chamisa and those close to him of manipulating the party’s structures in a bid to stop would be challengers from being nominated.