By Anna Chibamu
MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has described his erstwhile colleague, Douglas Mwonzora as a loose cannon misinterpreting a recent Supreme Court ruling through abuse of authority he did not have.
Mwonzora was recently reinstated as MDC-T secretary-general after the Supreme Court ruled Chamisa was not the legitimate leader of the MDC-T.
The judges went on to appoint Thokozani Khupe interim president before ordering her to organise an extraordinary congress in three months to replace late founding leader, Morgan Tsvangirai who died in 2018.
Mwonzora has confirmed the party will hold the congress on 31 July.
However, addressing journalists outside the Harare Magistrates’ Courts Saturday, Chamisa accused Mwonzora of misrepresenting the Supreme Court ruling as it only gave limited powers to Khupe to use the party’s 2014 structures and organise the congress.
“He (Mwonzora) is not reinstated. He is abusing the authority that he does not have,” Chamisa said.
“The Supreme Court reinstated Thokozani Khupe only with a limited mandate to organise our past not even the future,” Chamisa said before advising Mwonzora, and MDC-T national chairperson, Morgen Komichi to go for a mental health examination.
“Examine them medically. Even if you go to Ngomahuru, how many people will claim they are normal?”
Ngomahuru is a government-run mental health institution in Masvingo.
Soon after his reinstatement, Mwonzora has been purging MPs close to Chamisa, a move that has claimed the scalps of four legislators who were last month expelled from Parliament after he wrote a letter recalling them.
Last Thursday, Mwonzora sought the assistance of the police and army to evict the MDC Alliance from the Harvest House now known as Morgan Richard Tsvangirai, the traditional home of MDC politics.
Mwonzora claimed Charlton Hwende, Prosper Mutseyami, Lilian Timveous, and Thabitha Khumalo had ceased to be members of the MDC-T. He has threatened to recall more MPs if they did not toe the line in terms of MDC-T demands.
MDC Alliance co-vice presidents Tendai Biti, Lynnette Kore and five senior party officials were arrested while attempting to enter the building and address a press conference.
They were granted $1 000 each. MDC youth spokesperson, Womberayi Nhende is hospitalised under police guard at Parirenyatwa hospital after he was brutally assaulted by police outside Harvest House on the day.
Turning to the arrest of his co-vice presidents, Chamisa said there was a disturbing trend in Zimbabwe where State institutions were being abused to settle political scores.
“What is quite a disturbing trend to us is a trend that we are seeing the abuse of our justice system. Literally turning our justice system into chambers of torture, chambers of malice and chambers of vindictiveness.
“We can see that there is a political hand that is permeating our justice system. The law is perceived to be on the other side of the political divide and that is worrisome,” said Chamisa.
He described the occupation of Harvest House by Khupe’s faction as a “passing phase” as the building does not belong to the MDC but a private owner.
“Well, MRT House is not owned by the MDC. It is owned by private players but as tenants, we have a clear understanding and relationship as MDC Alliance. This is a known common cause. This whole issue you are calling a crisis is not a crisis at all.
“This is a passing phase, we know that these are desperate measures by desperate individuals who realise how desperate their circumstances are.”