By Ndatenda Njanike
MDC-T second vice president, Elias Mudzuri and national chairperson, Morgen Komichi have accepted the positions given to them by newly-elected party president Douglas Mwonzora last week.
However, the two still maintain processes in the opposition party’s extraordinary congress (EOC) that elevated then secretary general Mwonzora to his new position were flawed.
The opposition politicians say because of their belief in teamwork, they have accepted the appointments to avoid another split in the troubled party.
The MDC-T last week Sunday held an EOC at the Harare International Conference (HICC) to elect a new leader to replace founding president Morgan Tsvangirai who died in 2018.
Mudzuri, Mwonzora, then interim president Thokozani Khupe and Komichi were the presidential candidates in the election.
However, the process later turned chaotic and violent after the candidates accused Mwonzora of rigging the process in his favour. The trio also walked out while vote counting was still underway. Mwonzora was later declared winner.
As the new president, Mwonzora went on to pick Khupe as the MDC-T first vice president, Mudzuri second, while Komichi retained his position as the national chairperson.
Commenting on his new appointment, Mudzuri, while admitting the election was flawed, said there was need to strike a balance between principles and the interests of the party to avoid another split.
The MDC has, since 2005, been rocked by splits around leadership wrangles.
The latest was in March last year when Mwonzora, Komichi and Mudzuri walked out of the MDC Alliance-led by Nelson Chamisa to join Khupe’s faction. This followed a Supreme Court ruling that said Chamisa was not the legitimate president of the MDC-T.
Accepting his new appointment, Mudzuri said: “A balance between my principles – honesty integrity fair play and interests of the party must be struck.
“The EOC was grossly flawed but another split is not in the interest of Zimbabweans. The solution to this crisis is in honest engagement and team work.”
Komichi told NewZimbabwe.com Saturday he was also accepting the appointment to avoid another split adding the MDC-T “is dying, the party is collapsing. That is what is holding me.”
Komichi added: “We want to move forward. We want to build the party. We can’t endorse or facilitate the split anymore. The MDC-T has split more than enough. For us to continue splitting will be missing the bigger picture.
“However, we don’t condone rigging of elections at all. That must not be accepted, but I am looking at the bigger picture. I’m more focused on building that is the major issue. So it’s not a question of accepting. So I’m in my previous position as the national chairperson because I want the party to continue going.”
Khupe, who is in self-isolation after testing Covid-19 positive last Wednesday, is yet to announce if she accepted her former position as the MDC-T vice president and also remain as the leader of the opposition in the House of Assembly.