By Robert Tapfumaneyi
TOP MDC politician Elias Mudzuri has called Douglas Mwonzora to order, telling the reinstated MDC-T secretary general to stop recalling more opposition MPs from parliament, adding this defeated the overall objective of the party to hold government to account.
Mudzuri said recalling party MPs frustrated their work.
Earlier this month, four MDC Alliance MPs, Charlton Hwende, Prosper Mutseyami, Lilian Timveous and Tabitha Khumalo were expelled from Parliament at the behest of Mwonzora.
This was after the Supreme Court had restored the stewardship of the party into the hands of ex-vice president Thokozani Khupe and the MDC (then MDC-T) executive elected at a 2014 party congress in which Mwonzora triumphed over Nelson Chamisa when the two went head to head to the post of secretary general.
Armed with the court ruling, Mwonzora said he recalled the four senior officials as they were no longer MDC-T MPs before hinting that more legislators would be axed from Parliament soon.
However, in a wide-ranging interview with NewZimbabwe.com Monday, Mudzuri felt recalling more MPs was only meant to settle petty personal fights and was unhealthy for the MDC-T and the people in constituencies the MPs were elected in.
“I don’t enjoy anyone getting out of Parliament. I don’t want that to happen, as a senior member, those people have worked in their own different ways whether they went there (Parliament) by hook or crook but they are there representing the MDC,” Mudzuri said.
“We don’t want to withdraw parliamentarians. Why should we want them not to work for the people? Their job is within their constituencies.
“Right now it’s the time of COVID-19 and I have said we don’t want to recall any parliamentarians. However, those who are going to extremes in terms of attacking each other, may be recalled because it becomes difficult to work with them, but I don’t see the reason why MPs should be withdrawn because they must be able to take the government to task and ask it to be answerable.
“We are less than a third of (opposition) parliamentarians, we must make this government account, especially at this time of COVID-19. They must be able to do what is necessary. They must be able to bring food to hungry people who have not been going to work, they must bring medication where ever is necessary.”
Mudzuri reminded a seemingly trigger happy Mwonzora the power to recall MPs rested with the party and not an individual.
“The power is not with Mwonzora, the power to withdraw MPs is with the MDC which was left by Morgan Tsvangirai,” he said.
Tsvangirai, the MDC founder leader died in 2018 and soon after his death, co-vice presidents Chamisa and Khupe tussled to replace him.
Said Mudzuri, “This is the time for MPs to go and face government, not to say we are for Mwonzora or we are for Hwende, we are for Mudzuri or we are for Chamisa. This is the time for them to represent the ordinary person who is in the village or in the streets.
“You see why it has gone to that extent is because people are stuck. I wouldn’t call it lack of maturity, but I would say lack of understanding good governance and lack of statesman craft-ship.”
He said the divisions that have rocked the MDC factions were evidenced by two separate letters that were sent to Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda by both rivals.
“There were two letters, one was calling for the withdrawal from Parliament of Mwonzora, Morgen Komichi and myself written by Hwende, while the other written by Mwonzora is recalling those four party legislators.
“This not good at all. Let’s look at the (Supreme Court) judgment first and we move forward,” Mudzuri said.
The Supreme Court judgment has also ordered the MDC-T to hold an extraordinary congress within 90 days to elect a new president.